Scholar Spotlight: Charles Amponsah
Describing what sets Expo’s programs apart from the education the JHS students are already receiving, he says “I think one, is the tutors. They are their mates. It helps, somehow, to remove the fear from them [the JHS students] so they are able to ask more questions than from their regular teachers.”
Charles understands the importance of our tutors, and he has won our tutor scholarship twice as a result of his hard work, empathy with his students, and, as he himself proudly points out, his commitment to being on time. He animatedly describes his first classes with Expo and how much he valued his time learning from former PA’s Matt and Stephanie, and when he talks about winning his first scholarship he becomes so excited that he can’t stay in his seat.
When asked about his favorite experience with Expo, he laughs, “The time I was given my award as the best tutor!”
He continues seriously, “My first time I was introduced to the program, I was given a whole class to teach. I was nervous and the other tutors were not in and they asked me to take the whole class. But now I can do it, so it has helped me a lot. I can’t name only one thing I learned from Expo. They helped me with the money for books and other things for school, but it also showcased my talent of being a tutor and removed my fear, so now I’m having the confidence to teach anywhere.”
Charles has been an enormous help to the Expo staff living at our village location in Antoa, guiding many of us through everything from fetching water for the first time to greeting our neighbors properly. When we feel challenged by life in Ghana he is also a great friend, popping into our compound to bring us a laugh, share food, and maybe show us a new dance move. This is why we’re so genuinely happy for Charles to continue formally working with Expo this term as a tutor training consultant.
Because he was so successful at his tutoring, we saw that some of our challenges in training tutors could be overcome by simply allowing him to come to our classes and model our best practices. He will therefore be teaching many of our first classes and visiting our programs occasionally to help our new tutors to provide better learning experiences to our students. Charles also participated in new team member orientation in August as one of our Twi instructors, guiding our staff through grammar and pronunciation just as he would with his students.
Of his new role, Charles says, “I’m honored, I’m very happy, because the tutors are like me and due to this organization I’ve gained the chance to be a model to them, so I’m honored.”
When asked if he will teach again after Expo, he says, “I think maybe I will teach again. I will volunteer to help people, like what you’re doing here. ”
Charles is currently waiting for a year before he can begin university due to overcrowding at the schools. When he starts, he wants to study political law in Ghana and live in Accra. He says he will visit Antoa often, and if he has the money, he wants to build a library. He says, “I also want to be a preacher or an advisor somehow, and continue to volunteer and teach people,” adding, “My younger sisters and brothers are coming, so I want to help them in furthering their educations. I want them to achieve their goals and aims. So I will help, that is my main thing. It will help the whole world, and Ghana precisely.”
This scholar spotlight was written by our Senior Program Manager Rachel Widany, who lives in Antoa with Charles.