Whenever Joseph Wukpan '18 had some downtime as a student at Ashesi, he would visit the Abuom Junction Fuel station a few kilometers from campus; while there, he would don an attendant’s uniform and help fuel cars. He didn’t do this because he needed extra money; after gaining admission to Ashesi as a MasterCard Foundation scholar, this was what kept him grounded. After all, it was at this fuel station that his Ashesi story started.
“My Ashesi story is incomplete without the Abuom Junction Shell fuel station,” explained Joseph. “It was here I first heard about Ashesi, while working as a fuel station attendant. I met an Ashesi employee here who told me about the university's scholarships programmes, and I applied. So whenever I can, I go back to reconnect with the team I used to work with, and help them talk through different challenges. I hope I can inspire more of them to pursue opportunities for growth.”
Five years ago, Joseph’s story was much different. After graduating from high school, he had taken up the job at the fuel station because his parents could not afford to pay for further education.
“Choosing to work at the station was difficult,” he said. “However, this was the only my way of gaining income. That was my reality, so I had to make the best out of it.”
Soon, Joseph rose to become the station manager; and as part of his job, he interacted with clients who included some members of the Ashesi community. With time, he grew an admiration for Ashesi, and learning more about the institution, he started considering it as an option.
“Through my interaction with staff and faculty at Ashesi, I learned more about the school, including its financial aid opportunities," he said. "At that point, I realized that if I had the chance to go to any institution, it would be Ashesi.”
He eventually applied to what had become his dream school, and got accepted as a MasterCard Foundation scholar. “Getting a scholarship to attend Ashesi was life changing,” he said. “It was a gift that made me realise that I had a responsibility to make the most out of it. Given this opportunity, I always made it a point to strive to help others find opportunities as well."
As a student at Ashesi, Joseph took advantage of the opportunities that came his way. While excelling in the classroom, he also eventually got accepted into an internship with Tullow Oil Ghana. Outside the classroom, he was equally active. From successfully acting as the head of the student-run football league, to starting an on-campus food delivery service, Joseph pursued as many paths as he could.
“In high school, the thought of going to university wasn’t one I took very seriously,” he said. “However, during my time at the filling station, I got to learn more about the world out there and all the opportunities I could pursue. I started thinking about the kind of life I wanted to lead, and what I wanted to be known for. Ashesi was the ideal place to give me the experience and skill I needed to accomplish more with my life. Ashesi always encourages us to aim high, and pursue goals we previously thought were unattainable. Wherever I find myself, I’ll tell my story, and hope it inspires others.”
Source: Ashesi External Relations