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Diasporia News of Monday, 27 June 2011


Chicagoan Strive To Become First Miss-Ghana USA

..Cites Work With Youth In Chicago.

My name is Akua Akyaa Agyeman. I am a Ghanaian-American born and raised in Chicago to Ghanaian parents, Bennett and Betty Agyeman. I was raised, along with three older siblings, deeply rooted in the Ghanaian community in Chicago, which has strongly impacted me. My value systems, educational endeavors, and what I believe to be my life’s work is linked to and guided by my identity as a Ghanaian woman in America.

I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology and African American Studies. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago seeking a Masters degree in the Social Service Administration Program (Social Work). It is my goal to be a school social worker and to ultimately work long-term with the Ghanaian and African Diasporic populations in the Chicago and surrounding area in the field of cultural retention.

Most of my work experience has been with youth in schools, after-school programming, and community outreach. I have worked in underserved, low-income African American communities with youth ranging in ages from 5 to 18 years old. I have served youth as a mentor, tutor, advisor, counselor, and an academic and dance instructor. Furthermore, I have worked with youth in the Ghanaian community, serving as the Education and Mentorship chairperson for the Adinkra Association of Chicago & Chicagoland area. Through this endeavor, I developed programs for youth including our Annual Youth Day, which provided Ghanaian children the opportunity to take classes in African Dance, Drumming, Twi Language, and more. Along with this program, I launched the first Mentorship Program, which paired high school students with young adults in the Ghanaian community. Moreover, I provide educational bulletins to Adinkra members to keep them abreast on Ghanaian culture, history, and current affairs.

All these experiences have given definition to my career aspirations in many ways. As a Ghanaian born and raised in America, I have experienced the dualities of my identity and the desire to stay connected to my cultural roots. This has influenced my drive to focus on cultural retention in the Ghanaian community in Chicago. As more Ghanaians make America their home, it becomes essential for us to preserve our uniqueness as Africans. As a participant in the Miss Ghana USA pageant, I would have the opportunity to further develop my keen passion for maintaining who we are as Ghanaians, our ties to our homeland, and our obligation to give back to our communities in Ghana and in the United States. ........ Log ... Click on member login Username ...akuaghana Password ....Ghana123 Vote for Akua Agyeman