“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to be keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” – Tupac Shakur
Her’s is not quite the Cinderella story we are often used to, but one which demonstrates grit and resilience plus a fighting spirit. Christabel Ampadu moved through the stages of life as an underdog, both inside and outside the classroom. She lived at Madina Social Welfare most of her life and was one of the few benefactors of an intervention by one man’s son’s dislike for cornflakes ( a story for another day). Through this man, Christabel and some young girls from her home joined a fellowship, where they were exposed to the world through the eyes of people from different walks of life. Her dedication to service was instantaneous when she joined the fellowship’s protocol team with her ever-infectious smile and readiness to help.
All through the time, she did well to balance school and social life to make sure she excelled. However, gloom may have struck when after studying for the year’s West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations, she did not entirely pass some requisite courses well enough to proceed to the next stage. She was crushed for someone well past her peers’ “school-going” age. However, through the encouragement and good counsel of her seniors and godmothers, she mustered courage and decided to retake the shot. This time, she was determined to push herself to the limit while putting all faith in God to push her through.
It was quite a trying process as some of her other colleagues who also failed in the examinations decided not to go ahead to rewrite the papers as it was tedious. One by one, they fell off the wagon, leaving Christabel holding on to the reins of the cart leading to the examination border to the next level. Being one whose age mates were either in the university or doing well in whichever chosen trade or vocation they wanted was a severe psychological battle Christabel had to face every day. To top it all off, she had to change where she lived periodically till where she is currently domiciled. All these challenges were stepping stones for her to learn how to toughen her skin against harsh conditions. The dream to one day become someone who could touch as many lives as she had enjoyed from someone was lingering wildly in her heart and urging her on.
Thankfully, her hard work and nights of staying up to study paid off when her exam results showed she had passed the required courses to make it to the tertiary level. All through to the end, her commitment to the fellowship that began her new path in life was intact. She did well always to attend services and remained available to help with whichever work there was in general.
Two women were instrumental to where Christabel currently is. Seeing the resilience and fighting spirit of the eaglet Christabel, these women took her under their wings and encouraged her. Their mentorship and desire to see her become a better version of herself propelled her growth. Together, they preached the Christabel story in hopes of securing funding for her to attend University. Roy Bennet once said, “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is you get up once more than knocked down.” Their persistence led to life-changing dawn in Christabel’s life. She gained admission to the United States International University Africa with a full boarding scholarship to study International Business Administration. Nothing but joy engulfed their hearts on the day of reading that email.
Christabel is not only an inspiration but also a template of resilience and grit with good guidance and counsel. She shows how possible it is to reach our desired goals when we push ourselves and are surrounded by people who want us to achieve them, especially when they have walked that path.