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.
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.
Not just cupcakes, but s’mores and piña colada cupcakes. And an ice sculpture. No big deal.
It’s a fruit sculpture. No, let me repeat myself. A sculpture, MADE OUT OF FRUIT!
Tiramisu, aka, “Hello, freshman 15″
Alright, we take back everything we’ve ever said about the Ratty.
Make your way down to the lovely Sharpe Refectory for fruit tarts, piña colada and s’mores cupcakes, tiramisu, and vegan strawberry and Oreo cheesecake. We’re lovin’ this more than Blue Room focaccia and V-Dub CFF combined.
Why? Just ‘cause.
On Thursday, President Ruth Simmons will deliver the State of Brown address at 4 p.m. in Salomon 101 on behalf of the Undergraduate Council of Students. Simmons will hold a Q & A session after she speaks about the University’s current state of affairs and her vision for the future. Here are seven serious questions for Simmons:
1) When you came to Brown in 2001, you introduced the Plan for Academic Enrichment as a way to raise the University’s national profile as a research institution. As you get ready to begin your tenth year as president, do you think the Plan has been effective?
2) During last month’s Corporation meeting, a number of initiatives were approved that directly influence research and graduate programs. How will the University continue to advance its research mission while maintaining its commitment to undergraduates?
3) It’s clear that Brown’s commitment to creating a “knowledge economy” in Providence will benefit the intellectual community. How will it benefit undergraduates?
4) At the beginning of the Plan, you said you wanted to revolutionize graduate education so it would correspond with the New Curriculum. How, if at all, have you accomplished this?
5) Despite the economy and rising tuition costs, the number of applicants to the University has skyrocketed. How has the Plan contributed to this increase?
6) You are traveling to India during spring break for the first meeting of the recently formed India Advisory Council, whose purpose is to increase outreach and boost alumni support. What will you emphasize to the Council in terms of achieving these aims?
7) Ratty or V-Dub?
The Ratty’s brussel sprouts casserole pales in comparison to Chicken Finger Friday. Will the Ratty ever win the coveted Friday lunch selection?
The V-Dub’s signature salmon teriyaki and chocolate cake cinnamon roll win the dinner face-off, making this Friday a rare V-Dub sweep.
Vegan nuggets at the Ratty? Vegan food should not look like fake meat, not in our book.
Tamale pie at the Ratty and paella at the V-Dub makes this a battle of the Hispanic dishes, Aztecs vs. Spaniards. Let’s give the Aztecs a consolatory victory here, because they were annihilated in real life.
The Polynesian cookies still make us feel cultured.
As high-protein as the Ratty’s Plum Good Pork Chops sound, we’ll be getting our fiber for the week in with the V-Dub’s Red Flannel Sliced Root Vegetables. (Shirts would be high in fiber, right?)
Lunch: Ratty. Both dining halls are offering something “stuffed,” but the V-Dub’s “stuffed shells with sauce” is a bit too vague for us to completely trust.
Dinner: V-Dub. Sure, having “chicken broccoli pasta alfredo” alongside just “broccoli pasta alfredo” might look lazy, but think of it as a really, really obvious attempt to accommodate you vegetarians out there!
Lunch: V-Dub. Nothing spectacular being offered anywhere. Though the Ratty’s pork cubes? Geometrically shaped meat doesn’t sound too appealing.
Dinner: Ratty. Pearl onions…sounds fancy!
Lunch: V-Dub. Chicken fingers plus enchilada bar–a Friday staple just got better.
Dinner: Ratty by default. With the V-dub offering the dubious combination of Fisherman’s Pie in Puff Pastry and Cheese Raviolis with Vodka Sauce, we don’t even have to check the menu to know it’s a Ratty night.
Lunch: V-Dub. The Ratty has much of the same today, so stop by the V-Dub for an enchilada bar and grilled Montreal chicken.
Dinner: V-Dub. The V-Dub is hosting the Cape Verdean Dinner Special, and that means a tasty BBQ chicken dinner with Pudim de Leite to top it all off. (That means flan for all of you non-Cape Verdeans.)