This Is How Poor Student from West Africa Joined 2 Most Desired US Universities

3 years ago



Born in Ghana, Wendell Adjetey wormed his way to Yale. Now he’s going to Harvard and wants to share his story with other students. It’s about failures, poverty, and hard work. How did a poor student from West Africa join 2 of the most desired US universities? That’s what the Typical Student team is going to talk about. 

If you wish to read more student success stories, check How Did 19 Y.O. High School Dropout Become Microsoft Mixer Co-Founder? are Business Start-Up At Uni: How UK Student Won £1,000 and Created ‘Tinder’ for Stray Animals Adoption.


How Did Wendell's Journey Start?


Actually, Adjetey family had a lack of high school education. Wendell says school was a real trauma for him. Not only because Adjetey grew up in a poor family but also because his dad had to leave Ghana. It happened after the birth of the youngest son - Adjetey. The reason was WA’s ruling regime.


How Did Canadian Diplomat Save Adjetey’s Father?


Luckily, Adjetey’s father met a Canadian diplomat, who let him stay in CA. Few years later, Adjetey’s mother was able to join her husband, so did she. Adjetey stayed with grandmother until 1992. This year parents find a way to take their children (Adjetey and his older siblings) to Canada.

 “I was usually written off in the first couple of weeks of class…”

There were poverty and family disruption that brought much more problems to boy’s life. With it, Adjetey was the worst student in class. “I was usually written off in the first couple of weeks of class…” - comments Adjetey.

When Everything Changed


“I wanted to work so hard to honor him and say thank you,” - that’s how Adjetey comments the influence of Peter Hinchcliffe. Hinchcliffe was a retired counselor, who understood boy’s feelings and helped him in studying. After repeating the senior year, Adjetey earned the graduate degree at the University of Toronto. Soon, he started the way to Yale.


What Is Adjetey’s Specialization?


Adjetey became one of 2 incoming William Lyon Mackenzie King Postdoctoral Fellows at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and its Canada Program. Although Adjetey faced poverty and lots of social issues, he overcame it to start the journey to Yale.


Adjetey’s specialization is history. The program begins with the 2oth Century. It includes a course on African North Americans. Autumn 2018, Adjetey will start teaching.


Co-founding the Non-Profit: Tujenge Africa Foundation


In 2015, to help other poor students, Adjetey united with Etienne Mashuli, his classmate from Rwandan. Still being at Yale, they co-founded the nonprofit Tujenge Africa Foundation. From Swahili, the name can be translated as “build”. It was made to help students from West Africa and bring together scholars from various ethnic groups.


These days, Adjetey works to prepare poor children for higher education. He is going to enter Harvard’s ’s undergraduate Class of 2022.

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