As a first-generation college student studying abroad in Ghana, I did not know what to expect. I believed my 4 months would solely consist of studying and touring the country – little did I know, I would have the opportunity to volunteer with a foundation that strengthened my passion, empowered my dreams and, most importantly, enlightened me about the kids in Ghana, specifically in Accra.

Volunteering as mentor for the Play and Learn Foundation has been one of the best and most memorable activities I’ve done in Ghana. I admire how intelligent, resilient, determined and caring these kids are. My role as a mentor in the program showed me the importance of an establishing a trusting relationship, being a role model and a support system.

I’ve had the privilege to watch these kids grow and flourish in their strengths and overcome their weaknesses due to the support that they’ve had and their personal dedication to grow. These kids work very hard day in and day out; many work much harder than kids and adults in the United States and they still manage to be positive and find joy every day.

Not to mention, working with Nana has been fun and inspiring. I am moved by his dedication and aspirations to helping the kids in Ghana and soon, all over Africa by giving them support to achieve their dreams, as well as creating resources that will help them further develop personally, academically and professionally.

This program has strengthened my passion in becoming a Social Worker in the future. It has also reminded me of my responsibility as a future Social Worker and my duty being on this Earth, which is to advocate and empower kids academically and emotionally.