Connections: Alumnae Share Expertise with Ghanaian Girls

Last summer members of the Mount Holyoke Club of Ghana, founded in 2013, spoke to young female students in Antoa, a small village in the West African country, as part of a career exploration program run by Taylor Chustz ’12.

Chustz lives in Kumasi and works for Exponential Education, overseeing Girls Leadership Program (GLP), an initiative at the Antoa Senior High School. The program was established to create a safe place for girls’ voices to be heard and to discuss leadership, gender roles, education, sexual harassment, and self-esteem. In search of some mentors for her students to connect with, in May Chustz reached out through the Mount Holyoke alumnae network.

Chustz quickly heard back from Nana Yaa Amoah ’09, copresident of the Mount Holyoke Club of Ghana. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity to connect with Mount Holyoke College alums post graduation to support initiatives like Taylor’s and also increase the visibility of the College outside of the United States,” said Amoah.

Club member Nana Dufie Addo ’05 and copresident Stephanie Otema Adu Dzandu ’05 were among the alumnae who participated in career exploration sessions with students over Skype, talking about themselves, their careers, and their educational backgrounds, while encouraging the girls to study hard in school, to never give up on their dreams, and to strive for what they desire.

“I wanted the girls to see examples of women like them who became successful and to realize that it was also a reality for them,” said Chustz, who already has plans to continue developing the initiative. “The girls were excited to talk to other Ghanaian women who essentially ‘made it.’”

Learn about Mount Holyoke alumnae clubs near you.
Learn more about Girls Leadership Program.

—By Jess Ayer

This article appeared in the fall 2015 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

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