Today, the entire Young Achievers Foundation Ghana family celebrates Justine Akorfah Dagadu for her extraordinary accomplishment. Justine got into Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a full 4-year scholarship worth $82,000/yr.
Justine distinguished herself as a scholar at YAF Ghana and we can’t wait to see the great things she’ll achieve with her MIT education.
Read More About Justine’s Journey:
Walking down the Accra Brewery-Agbogbloshie hill on the dusty, market-overtaken road, I looked down at the squalid, misarranged settlement that lay below: the place I call home.
I must have taken this same walk over a billion times in the eighteen years I have lived here, but something about this walk seems different. I am no longer filled with the anger, sorrow, or resignation of having to grow up in a community where I had next to nothing, where survival was key, and the only goal was to live to see the next day. Instead, there’s a smile on my face, a ray of hope, an avenue of new beginnings, and a chance for unprecedented growth. Suddenly the scales fall from my eyes, and I now see beyond the filth and poverty.
This is where I became; where I learned to forge forward in the face of adversity; where I learned to dream.
This same community has pushed me on my journey of attaining higher education. Now I’m here: an MIT class of 2026 admit planning to pursue a joint concentration in Bioengineering and International Development. I plan to use this niche intersection to better understand and tackle problems of health and economic development in the developing world. Most importantly, I hope to give children in communities like mine a better fighting chance.
A very big thank you to my parents for being my first supporters and giving me my heart and my hope. Thank you Auntie Mansa, for your advice and words of encouragement.
Thank you, Young Achievers Foundation Ghana (YAF Ghana) team, for putting me on the path to my dreams even when funding appeared to be in opposition to it and for helping me realize and develop my potential.
A special thank you to my beautiful friends and teachers for being with me throughout my journey.
All of you have played vital roles in helping me reach where I am today, and I will forever be grateful.