Kwame Boakye is a student at Akron Early College High School in Akron, Ohio, and is on track to earn his Associate in Arts Degree from The University of Akron by the time he graduates from high school. He will be the first in his family to earn a college degree.
“His maturity and passion for education has been noticed on many levels,” said Jennifer Austin, an Academic Advisor for the early college high school.
Boakye is the class valedictorian as well as Senior Class President.
“Because of my achievements and the leadership I’ve shown while at Akron Early College High School, I was chosen to give a speech to the Ohio State Superintendent about the benefits of early college,” Boakye said.
He was named the Volunteer Coordinator for the school’s month-long Rethinking Race forum and, due to the success of his work there, he was asked to be an Ambassador for the University of Akron’s annual Black Male Summit.
Boakye has also received a scholarship that awarded him a full ride from The University of Akron, where he will be attending college next year in their College of Business. Kwame applied for and was named a recipient for a $20,000 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Company. He was also awarded an all-expenses-paid 3 day trip to Atlanta at the beginning of April, in which he will receive the award and network with the other winners. Boakye also will have a chance to win an additional $10,000, which will be decided and awarded at the April conference.
Boakye is an intern at ValMark Securities, Inc. He knew he wanted to go into business, but was unsure of which concentration. Through the guidance of Akron Early College High School staff, Boakye was able to meet Dave Minich, Vice President and COO of Applied Financial Concepts, Inc. The goal of the meeting was to have Minich mentor Boakye and help him narrow his career interests. Minich, who works with ValMark, was so impressed with Boakye that he recommended him for an available paid internship with the company. Boakye was interviewed and accepted. He is the first high school student to ever receive an internship from ValMark! He is currently interning there part-time.
For staff like Austin, seeing the success of students like Boakye is what it’s all about. “I am very proud to work with the early college high school,” she said. “Seeing students succeed is beyond rewarding for me.”