Early in September 2021, the management of University of Ghana – Legon postponed the annual congregation from 6th to 10th December 2021 to 11th – 15th January 2022. Since the beginning of this week, stories of successful graduants have been making the rounds on various social media platforms. The latest of these amazing and inspiring stories to join the ranks is that of Frank Obeng Addae, valedictorian for the College of Basic and Applied Science. His journey to this point has been nothing short of amazing and in his own words, this is his story:
“After my high school education, I taught for a year to save money for my tertiary education. In 2017, I applied to study medicine at the University of Ghana, KNUST and the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho. Sadly for me, UG and KNUST didn’t shortlist me for the entrance exams and interview. For KNUST, I had already been interviewed for a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. They came to my house and informed us that the only condition left was to gain admission to KNUST, and I would be a full scholar. This was great news for my family, but a few weeks later, it became sad news as I was not given admission at KNUST. Not even my last choice of program was offered to me. I was, however, shortlisted for entrance exams and an interview at UHAS, and I successfully made it onto the admission list. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t pay the admission fee of GHS 7,000.00 and thus lost that opportunity. I later gained late admission to read BSc. Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Ghana. When I got to UG campus, they were done with the freshers’ orientation and had started lectures already. I had no accommodation, but through the assistance of Dr. Vincent Von, the then Senior Hall Tutor of Akuafo Hall, I was able to get accommodation at Akuafo Hall.
Coming from a nuclear family of nine members depending on a monthly salary of fewer than GHS 500.00, it was very difficult to pay my academic and accommodation fees and feed myself. In the second semester of level 100, I applied for financial aid from the UG Student’s Financial Aid Office (SFAO) and I was selected. The scholarship was very helpful, but I still had to struggle to pay my accommodation fees since the scholarship only covered my academic fees. In my third and final years, the SFAO recommended me to the Standard Chartered Bank, which also paid only my academic fees. Overall, this financial support was very helpful and alleviated my financial burden.
In addition to the financial challenges, I faced health challenges as well. There were times when I had to go for painkiller injections just so I could be relieved of pain and have a sound sleep. In all these challenges, God never disappointed me. He promised to be with me, and he fulfilled His promise.
Despite all the challenges, God has made it possible for me to successfully graduate with first-class honors and as the Valedictorian for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana. In addition to this are other great achievements I chalked at UG. I won several academic and social awards; I served in several leadership portfolios; I participated in several leadership seminars; I took several online courses;I participated and presented at several international and local research conferences; I taught as a part-time tutor at TutorsHubGH in my final year and I carried out some community development initiatives as well in Dunkwa-On-Offin.
To God be the Glory for making this possible.”