Three Liberian Students off to ‘Ashesi Innovation Experience’

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Stephen Barnes (left) and Theodosia N. Foster (right) are currently at AIX with their colleague James Jallah.

Three Liberian students on Saturday, August 4, 2018 left the country to participate in the Ashesi Innovation Experience (AIX) at Ashesi University in Ghana.

AIX is an intense and exciting two-week enrichment program developed by the faculty of Ashesi University in Ghana for senior high school students. The program is open to high school students ages 15 to 19.

The program expands the vision and broadens the aims of students, inspires, challenges and equips them with concrete skills for innovation in the 21st Century: skills in leadership, design thinking, entrepreneurship, robotics programming, and engineering.

This year’s edition of the program that will bring students together from across the world will run from August 5 to 19.

Theodosia N. Foster of the Mary Help of Christian Catholic High School, Stephen Barnes of the Vision trust Christian Academy and James Jallah of the Spiritan Academy, were recommended by Ashesi alum, Kpetermeni Siakor.

Prior to their departure, the students expressed delight over the program, and promised to share the skills and knowledge that they will acquire with their fellow students upon return.

Barnes, 17, was spotted because of his innovation in his community. He has over the years been involved with the transformation of non-biodegradable materials to useful materials, despite the challenge of people not having interest in his work.

“This program is going to help me a lot, because I will be able to learn new skills, especially in the area of Engineering Module,” Barnes said.

Student Theodosia Foster, 15, who is going to be trained in Creative Arts, was selected based on her creative handiwork in fashion design. Motivated by her aunt, Ada Zuu Kromah, Foster uses her hands to sketch and create outfits for herself.

Kpetermeni Siakor, who recommended the kids to the program, said he is excited that Liberian students can participate in the much larger gathering in Ghana, and hopes that the students’ performance paves the way for the participation of more Liberian students in subsequent editions.

“We want a large pool of Liberian AIX alumni, who can organize local versions of AIX for the benefit of even more Liberian students. I am grateful to Ashesi University and the Mastercard Foundation for providing this opportunity,” Siakor said.

AIX is the culmination of different enrichment programs run by faculty and staff of Ashesi University over the years. Ashesi University is a private non-profit liberal arts university located in Ghana, West Africa, with the mission to educate a new generation of ethical entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within them critical thinking skills, concern for others and the courage it will take to transform their continent.

The participation of two of the three students, Stephen and Theodosia, is being sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation. The sponsorship covers plane tickets, program cost, accommodation and meals.

Established in 2006, the Mastercard Foundation’s mission is to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. It seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.

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