I am Grace Marfo, a self-motivated young woman with a Bachelor’s degree in Development Education from University for Development Studies in Ghana. In 2014, right after I finished my degree, I met Exponential Education where I assisted international volunteers by interpreting demographic surveys for Senior High School (SHS) students to be selected for our Peer to Peer tutoring programs.
From here I had a growing interest in Expo in the sense that, when I was serving my country as a national service personnel at the Ghana Statistical Service, I decided to volunteer once every week to serve as a Ghanaian assistant for our Girls Leadership, Empowerment, Action Program (Girls LEAP) which had just begun for the 2014/2015 academic year. As the academic year ended, I had just completed my national service so I gave myself full time for Expo where I signed a contract as the Ghana Scholars Associate responsible for paying scholarship for outstanding Peer to Peer students, while I was also still assisting with Girls LEAP for the 2015/2016 academic year. These two years of experience landed me in my current position as the Girls LEAP Manager.
My position as the Girls LEAP Manager with this noble organization (Exponential Education) has really helped me to understand real life circumstances young girls are facing especially girls from our part of the world (developing countries). It has also empowered me to improve on my inter-personal skills thereby building relationships with school heads, government officials, and other stakeholders who in one way or the other support our programs to be successful. Again, this position and the kind of duty associated with it has motivated me to organize youth events and given me the skills to design curriculum for programs both in my church and for the organization as a whole. The kind of benefits and exposure I have acquired through Expo makes me feel like I have been prepared to take responsible action to support women wherever I may find myself. This is because I have acquired multicultural skills by working with Expo staff from all over the world, problem solving skills as a manager and a leader, and technological skills among many other core competencies one may acquire to be vibrant in society.
Through these and many other skills I have acquired from expo, I have been able to impact some individuals positively either directly or indirectly through youth event organization like the Girls LEAP annual conference, social media, and other church events. Some youth have definitely learned something from me, even though most people do not come personally to say, “Grace you have impacted my life.” But I am always happy to hear people say “this program has really helped me” or “this program changed my life.” Why? Because it is through my little effort. I was the happiest person when one of my current Program Associates, at the time she was being interviewed to be hired after she graduated from SHS, was asked why she has applied for the position. She said when she was in SHS and was a member of our program, she got the opportunity to attend one of our annual conferences. She said she was really motivated and encouraged by the story one young lady shared and as result she has decided to be strong no matter the circumstances, she will climb the academic ladder to the top. Upon further information I realized I was the person she was talking about. So I asked “do you remember her?” She replied, “Not really, but she looks like you” pointing at me. In fact I was so touched and I felt like that there are definitely people looking up to us so we have to keep the fire burning.
The programs Exponential Education undertakes are the kinds of programs countries like Ghana needs most to bring up great leaders in the future. The youth of today need Girls LEAP, Boys for Positive Change, Level Up Village, and the Peer to Peer Tutoring Program. It’s high time people see our effort and support us financially to expand our programs.