If I were to recount all of my experiences at African Science Academy, I could go on and on for ages. It almost feels like providing details of every single day of my life over the past two years, because ASA has actually been a part of my life for two years now. The African Science Academy is a community that has groomed me into a well-rounded feminist with a passion and vision for a better Africa.
My first week at ASA was undoubtedly one of the times I was most uncertain about my life. I was sixteen, and had just given up a university offer in Nigeria to hopefully gain some knowledge and experience that would help me transition better into tertiary education. My confidence was shaken, being the only Nigerian student studying at a very new school in the unfamiliar country of Ghana, coupled with adjusting to a new educational system. Before long, I realized that I was not the only uncertain one, and I allowed myself to be immersed in the program and people. Once I started getting used to the system, I loved the school. As ASA’s first Head Girl, I enjoyed defining the school’s traditions as I was a part of the pioneering cohort. I also became the eco and sports representatives, positions which allowed me to explore my leadership side. I learned to manage my time, prioritize, and be a team player. I was able to apply these three skills when I wrote the AS Math exams with my peers barely two months after starting at ASA – we call came out with A’s.
Another great milestone was receiving my A Level results. I had A*s in Further Math and Math and an A in Physics. Ultimately, I am grateful to the ASA team, especially my teachers for making the learning process as efficient as possible throughout the 10 months we spent at ASA as students. What I would say was my superstar moment was realizing that I would be receiving, not one, but two awards at the British Council Awards ceremony for being the best Further Math and Math student in Ghana. The awards ceremony was very exciting as I was supported by the ASA’s Directors, my teachers, other staff members, and the students. It was also a platform for me to meet people, including students from other schools who wanted me to share tips with them.
When I got a call from ASA, asking if I would like to volunteer as a Progression Tutor, I did not have to think twice before accepting the offer. I felt like everything fell perfectly into place, I wanted to take a gap year to apply to universities and I could spend a part of it giving back to the community I had benefited so much from. As soon as I arrived at ASA again, I began work by holding a 3-week crash course for the SATs while I also prepared for my SATs. I personally loved this experience because it pushed me to learn more than I normally would in order to be able to relay the right information and answer questions well. I must say, I was very proud of the results the students earned, given the limited time they had to prepare. This success encouraged me to do even more for ASA by forming the Tech Team with Anabella, a colleague of mine- we give the students weekly tech tips to keep them well versed in the tech world. I was also assigned as a tutor to a group of 6 students and within a month, we recorded an average improvement of 52%. The progress encouraged me to make the decision to return to ASA to spend another semester to continue contributing to the community.
The ASA team has also been very instrumental in my application to university and thankfully, I have a number of offers. I hope to major in Biomedical Engineering and the coolest part of this process is that my challenge was choosing which university to attend. I will be attending Minerva starting in August. I have tried imagining how many opportunities and people I would have missed if I did not take that bold step to attend ASA. It has been quite a journey and I am extremely grateful to God and all the people who have contributed to my story. In the future, I hope to contribute to the community by volunteering again, donating, or even be a guest speaker. I strongly believe that some of Africa’s greatest game changers will emerge from ASA and I am anxiously biting my nails, waiting for that moment.