A valedictorian of the October 2023 graduating cohort of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Bright Kwame Boadu, has appealed to wealthy individuals and families to be more benevolent and support brilliant needy students to realise their dreams and contribute to the development of society.
Mr Boadu, whose university education was funded by businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Seidu Agongo, graduated with a cumulative weighted average (CWA) of 78.88, making him the best among 1,104 graduands from the KNUST College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
He has since been retained by the college as a teaching assistant for his national service, while pursuing plans to further his education and realise his dream of becoming a renowned animal scientist.
He told the media after delivering his valedictorian speech that but for the intervention of Alhaji Agongo, he would have either performed poorly or deferred the programme as a result of limited resources.
The son of a single parent said many students were in his situation but the benevolence of wealthy Ghanaians and corporate institutions could help them to shine.
“But for Alhaji Agongo, I can say I will not have been here as the valedictorian of my graduating group. Before I met him, I was trekking to school and combining studies with extra classes so that I could raise money to feed and pay for books. These weighed heavily on my performance.
“But when he came through and took up all my expenses – fees, hostel, feeding and upkeep – I stopped the extra classes and put all on books and I saw my grades improving,” he said.
Mr Boadu also appealed to society to understand the situations of the youth before passing judgment on their performance, noting that although he had the potential, his predicament risked masking it.
“People are really struggling and there are a lot of brilliant people out there who need some small push to shine. Unfortunately, people care more about themselves than a better society, but we should learn to share more and it will bring big changes to people’s lives and our society,” he said.
“If people are not performing, it could be finance or something because there are problems. Like my situation, if not for Alhaji Agongo’s intervention, I could have had second class and or even lower and people would have said I am not serious, meanwhile the truth is that I was sacrificing my CWA to make ends meet,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Boadu described Alhaji Agongo, who founded the collapsed Heritage Bank Limited, as a silent philanthropist whose generosity has touched countless lives and made dreams come true.
He also challenged his fellow graduates not to be fixated on grades or outcomes, “for success is a multifaceted journey.
“You will define it, and no one will ever belittle you again. Success will emanate from your inner compass of decency and purpose,” he said.
He also commended Gifty Boakye, who he said first discovered him and funded his education before connecting him with Alhaji Agongo.