Araba Amuasi describes her early years as a precious time of discovery. Her earliest memories of formal education are of her mother, a young teacher graduate then, helping her recite her ABCs. Araba spent four years of high school at SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College before enrolling at Ashesi.
Immediately after High School she began studying for a degree in Telecommunications Engineering (from Multimedia University, Malaysia), at the Ghana Telecom Training Centre (now Ghana Telecom University College), where her interest in computer programming began to mature. After graduation she worked at the Mobile Billing Department of Ghana Telecom’s Onetouch, for two years.
Araba’s never-ending quest for knowledge brought her to Ashesi University in 2004, by which time her interest in computing had further heightened. “Ashesi seemed to resonate with me in many ways – there was Computer Science, there was community service, and there was the emphasis on scholarship, leadership, and citizenship” she says.
Araba excelled academically and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Computer Science as the first person to receive Summa Cum Laude honors. However she has chosen a very unconventional career path for a CS graduate. Araba has accepted a position as the Operations Officer for the Village of Hope Orphanage in Fetteh, www.thevillageofhope.com.
After a moving experience volunteering at the orphanage, she turned down several lucrative offers from software development companies to join the Village of Hope full-time. However, she does not plan to give up computer science all-together. Araba is hoping to introduce computer education to the orphanage curriculum and even teach basic programming to help the children develop skills in logical reasoning. Araba has already recruited three other Ashesi students to volunteer at the orphanage. She intends to formalize the volunteer recruiting process so contributions from Ashesi students will become regular.
While working at the Village of Hope, she has had the chance to interact with groups of children that represent Ghana in many ways. She has come to realize that if Africa is going to improve the school curriculum must be changed. Araba now is seriously considering a second degree in Education, particularly, curriculum development for basic education. “I want to be a part of building the Ghana (and Africa) I foresee, where children look for the basic concepts underlying the things that they study, and not how to commit procedures and facts to memory only to pass an examination” she adds.
Araba has a different philosophy of life now. According to her “it’s when you begin to realize that people value on your opinion, that you begin to think more deeply about the actions that you take and the decisions that you make.”