A Butterfly in the Midst of Birds

sufyanI was born and raised in Ghana, a country of approximately twenty-two million people in the western part of Africa. Being a former British colony, the formal language spoken in Ghana is English. However, even in schools where English is supposed to be spoken frequently, local languages dominate since those are the languages family and friends speak among themselves. I happen to speak the most widely spoken in West Africa called Hausa. Hausa originated from northern Nigeria, the most populous African country.

As a brother to two sisters, I have always assumed most responsibilities in my life. Both in school and in the community that I grew in, I have assumed leadership positions and worked with certain forms of group. In my junior high school I was made the academic prefect of my school. I also volunteered in my community to help the illiterate register to vote and perform the voting exercise on election days. At Kumasi Polytechnic where I studied Accounting before I transferred to Penn State, I was actively involved in student government, being the foreign affairs chairman for the Muslim Student Association.

Despite all these experiences I have accumulated in school and in my community, when I arrived at Penn State I knew I would face the challenge of effective communication in English. Ninety-five percent of my daily conversation in Ghana was in Hausa so my real test is here, where almost 100% of my interaction with people in and outside school must be in English. However, I cannot share my rich experiences without getting involved so I confidently joined the SGA and MSA. I wish to run for SGA Vice President so I can help progress Penn State Abington’s diversity and unity by initiating educative and participative programs for all students.

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