Science & Math
Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar Kwabena Agyemang’s appreciation for his family past fuels his ambitious academic future
Whenever 2023 graduate Kwabena Agyemang finds himself facing a challenge, he reminds himself of one thing: the hurdles his parents have overcome. More than 25 years ago, Agyemang’s parents left their home in Ghana to begin the life they dreamed of in the United States. To Agyemang, it was the ultimate sacrifice for their future children.
“They left behind their parents, knowing they would likely never see them again,” he says.
Despite the challenges of uprooting the lives they once knew, Agyemang says his parents remained committed to their dream. And, as if feeling the weight of the burdens they once carried, so does he.
“For me to achieve success would show them that not only do I appreciate what they have done for me, but that I did not put to waste their time, effort and sacrifices,” he says.
This powerful perspective on his life, education and career led to Agyemang earning the honor of being named a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar.
Degrees without debt
The 20-year-old dreams of one day improving patient outcomes in medicine by becoming a healthcare data analyst. It’s a career choice that requires years of higher education and training. So Agyemang began taking several College Credit Plus courses before graduating from North Ridgeville High School in 2021.
“I wanted to get a head start,” he says. “Through LCCC’s College Credit Plus program, I was able to take several classes, for free, before high school graduation.”
The early LCCC start means he’ll earn both associate of science and associate of arts degrees in May 2023. And thanks to the Diversity Incentive Award scholarship, Agyemang will earn those degrees without any debt.
After graduation he plans to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and then it’s on to his master’s degree.
“I plan to transfer to an institution that shares my values and will help me grow to be the best version of myself,” he says. “The road ahead won’t be easy, but I know the foundation that I built at LCCC will help me get to where I need to be.”
The honor of volunteering
Agyemang might have hastened his time to earning two degrees, but he has made the most of his two years on the LCCC campus. The mathematics enthusiast serves as treasurer of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and co-lead for its Honors in Action project. In that role, Agyemang has worked on his leadership and communication skills, while making a positive impact on his campus community.
“PTK has provided a catalyst for me to grow and connect with my peers,” Agyemang says. “Our work is improving our campus, community, and the world.”
Agyemang says his drive for volunteer work started in third grade when he was introduced to peers who were on the autism spectrum.
“I became good friends with one peer of mine who was on the autism spectrum and began to help out in his special education classroom,” he says.
The next school year, Agyemang proposed and organized a fundraiser to raise money for the regional Special Olympics. His idea – selling customizable paper strips for a schoolwide paperchain – earned enough money for a full class of students to attend.
“By creating this volunteer project at a young age, I was able to see the positive impact that one person can have by simply taking action,” Agyemang says.
A simple equation
As Agyemang navigates through his future education pathway, he says helping those in need remains at his core.
“Helping others has helped me to embrace people’s differences,” he says. “And I understand the importance of using my leadership and abilities to better others.”
His academic abilities certainly lie within the combination of mathematics and healthcare. Since March 2022, Agyemang has worked as a pharmacy technician at CVS Pharmacy. He says after COVID-19 caused a shortage of pharmacy technicians, he knew he had to help.
“With less pharmacy technicians, there are longer waiting times for prescriptions,” he says. “Many people need their prescriptions at a specific time in order to keep their health in check.”
With every interaction, Agyemang can see the positive impact he’s already making as he moves toward his career goals. And sometimes, he says, despite the complicated and important mathematical equations that lie ahead for him as a healthcare data analyst, the greatest results can still come from the simplest of actions.
“I’ve learned many lessons on how to interact with others and serve people through a stressful time in their lives,” he says. “I’ve learned the power of a kind word and a smile.”
“The road ahead won’t be easy, but I know the foundation that I built at LCCC will help me get to where I need to be.”