Students who do cool things: Essie Quakyi ’14

While I was sophomore slumping and pretending to be productive over winter break, Essie Quakyi ’14 was launching not one, but two projects: Imagine Ghana and According to Plan. Imagine Ghana is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide underprivileged youths in Ghana with the necessary skills, resources, and opportunities to make an informed career decision for themselves. Essie hopes to cause a paradigm shift in the way young people in Ghana approach their career journeys. Unrelated, but equally cool, According to Plan is an event decor and design company also based on her home turf. BlogDailyHerald sat down with Essie to get the details on both projects.

BlogDH: When did you launch Imagine Ghana?

Essie: The Imagine Ghana initiative was unofficially launched in December 2013 in Ghana, though we’re looking to a do a bigger and more formal one in the next few months. This launch will bring together volunteers, educators, program participants, financiers and speakers.

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BlogDH: What were your motivations for starting the nonprofit?

Essie: My high school experience and my time at Brown forced me to become a more critical thinker and to identify potential for change around me, and so I constantly sought ways to improve the state of my home country, Ghana. After interning for some time in some government institutions in Ghana I quickly learned that “quick-fixes” for problems have truly held the country back, and that the most effective solutions are those that tackle problems at their root. In thinking about youth unemployment and the general approach to career decision in Ghana, I developed Imagine Ghana, which seeks to expose the youth in Ghana to a better way of thinking, and to challenge them to explore the ‘whys’ of their career choices.

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