Senior Harriet Amofah discovers inspiration and passion from fellow GGC students

Georgia Gwinnett College is a long way from home for Harriet Amofah who grew up in Ghana, West Africa. Although GGC’s campus couldn’t feel more like home after spending three years immersing herself in student life and organizations thanks to the examples set by some of her fellow students.

“I was introverted and never planned to get involved on campus,” Amofah said. “My goal was to focus on my studies and graduate with flying colors.”

However, her goals changed when she had an encounter with two GGC student leaders. The first was Olivia Mugenga, originally from Rwanda, sharing graduate reflections at the 2015 fall commencement. In her speech, she mentioned her involvement and leadership roles on campus.

“That prompted me, and I told myself I wanted to be that person one day at the podium giving a graduation speech to my own class,” Amofah said.

The second student, Eliman Marenah, was a former Student Government Association (SGA) president and the first African-American student elected into the office. Amofah spoke with him in the SGA office and learned about his campus involvement.

“His positive story underscored for me that involvement helps students understand how GGC works and makes it easier to navigate the institution,” she said. “He also emphasized the importance of giving back to the community which ultimately led me into service and advocacy for students.”

Amofah, who moved to Atlanta with her family in 2012, chose GGC because of its small class sizes, affordable tuition and convenient location within Gwinnett County. Though she didn’t have high expectations or ambitions to lead her community, she quickly found that GGC had a lot to offer and that she could give back.

“Being involved has enhanced my personality and my leadership, communication and speaking skills,” she said. “Also, all the leadership roles have enhanced my decision-making capabilities, creativity and innovation. With these skills, I know I’ll be well prepared post graduation and ready to conquer the workplace.”

She currently holds leadership positions as the SGA vice president, secretary for the Golden Key International Honour Society and student ambassador conducting campus tours, and is an active member of the GGC Honors Program, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the International Student Association, and the African Voice. She also works two part-time campus jobs – student assistant at the library and resident assistant in student housing.

Amofah plans to graduate with a degree in human development and aging services and pursue a nursing degree post graduation. Her long-term plan is to eventually earn a Ph.D. in nursing and open her own clinic.

“Choosing to become involved at GGC has been life changing,” she said. “Hopefully I will inspire others just as my fellow students inspired me.”