A native of Ghana, Stancey Kwakwa says it was not easy to leave Africa’s Ivory Coast to come to America.  She moved to the U.S. before graduating from high school and spent her first five months learning how to navigate new schools, applying for colleges, and understanding what it was like to be a young teen in America.  It seems fitting that, just a few years later, Kwakwa began serving as a tutor and mentor to students enrolled in Leto High School’s English as a Second Language program.  Since English was not her first language, she understood many of the frustrations these students felt and enjoyed helping them with their own transitions, as well as their math and science lessons.

An accounting major, Kwakwa is a transfer student from Hillsborough Community College, joining USF as an honor student. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the National Association of Black Accountants, and Golden Key Honor Society. 

Kwakwa credits an applied ethics course, “Poverty and Self-Sustenance,” with helping her understand the concept of service learning.  As part of the course, students worked on projects for Trinity Café, an organization aiming to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless and hungry while serving a nutritious meal.  Kwakwa says she learned that poverty exists everywhere.  She says she also learned that students could contribute to agencies helping those in poverty, making a difference in the lives of many people.