By Diana

When asked what Akili Dada is, I always say Akili Dada is home. I have been part of Akili Dada since 2011 and I have seen firsthand what it means to believe in underserved women and support them as they curve their journey to success. Despite going through Akili Dada programs such as the Young Change Makers Program and the Gap Year Program, Akili Dada still supports me.

As an alumna, I have benefited from the partnership Akili Dada has with Ashesi University where I am studying on a full MasterCard Scholarship for a degree majoring in Management Information Systems. Studying abroad has been a great exposure and learning experience. In the beginning, it was much easier for me to navigate through the first year because I was prepared during the Gap year program at Akili Dada. However, as one climbs
the ladder, challenges increase too. As a young woman in a foreign land, sometimes these challenges overshadow my mission and dreams. I remember in my second year, I faced so many challenges that made me forget that I am created for greatness. At some point, these challenges affected my performance in school and I lost purpose. When faced with challenges, most time I thought of my family and Akili Dada who have always believed in me by ensuring that I no longer have red lights on my journey to greatness.

Last semester, Akili Dada held a leadership academy for the dadas at Ashesi University College in Accra, Ghana. The three days can be described as powerful. Having to interact with Purity, Misco and Maame was so energizing and inspiring. I remember Purity leading a discussion on being the ‘Joshua’ of our generation. She was able to draw a family tree from her great grandmother to her and how each of them played a role in making her the leader that. I could relate to the tree and realized that I am the one to break the chain and tell a different story in my family. I realized that I am the one to graduate with good a good GPA from this excellent university. I should be the pacesetter for people who have their masters, Phd,and business for my generation!  At the end of the academy, we took oaths to achieve certain dreams.

The lessons that I picked from the leadership academy such as planning, building good relationships with lecturers and being the best version of myself everyday were used to map out the rest of my semester. The fact that I got assurance and support from Akili Dada drove me to work with a purpose, to work towards making my business grow and GPA better. Last semester has not been easy but the fact that I knew my family and Akili Dada believed made me see the positive in every situation. The semester ended last month and I was so proud of myself when I looked at my semester’s performance and I earn a GPA of 3.5 out of 4. This is a clear reflection of the output of investing in an undeserved woman who sees no future and all her dreams shattered. I will continue to strive for greatness and encourage other girl that we run the world and we are made for greatness!

Once a dada, always a dada.

Akili Dada alumna at Ashesi University

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