Biology major Emma Akuffo, who is leaving the Nest as a member of the 2019 graduating class, exemplifies the amazing things CSAM students accomplish with dedication, creativity, and hard work. Emma is graduating with a double major in Child Advocacy and Policy, a combination that aligns with her goal to become a pediatrician who brings her understanding of American medicine and social policies to help developing nations establish systems and departments to improve healthcare for and protection of children.
Emma is not waiting around until she finishes medical school, however. During her time at Montclair State, Emma founded the international 501(c)(3) child advocacy non-profit group, Combating CSA, Inc., to establish resources and programs for prevention of sexual abuse, and improve health and education, in Ghana, West Africa. As the Founder and CEO, Emma travels to villages in Ghana to educate children and adolescents about ways to prevent child sexual abuse, advocates for medical supplies for the Pediatric Medicine Department at KATH hospital, and brings donated books from the United States to children in Ghana. Indeed, Emma has been working to advocate the construction of a new children’s library in Ghana.
In addition to her non-profit work, Emma has been actively involved in numerous experiential learning and mentoring opportunities during her time at Montclair State. She has been a Health and Life Skills Coordinator Intern for the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton, where she educated girls about health and life skills. Emma was also a Youth Delegate to the United Nations 23rd Youth Assembly, where she was empowered to be a change agent who will work toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Back in the Nest, Emma conducted undergraduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Aardema in the Department of Biology, and was member of the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, where she was recipient of the 2018 Arrigo O. Rogers Memorial Scholarship.
Emma will continue her education in the Premedical program along with a certificate in Non-profit Management this Fall at Harvard University. As she leaves the Nest, Emma has the following message for CSAM students coming up behind her:
Leadership is serving with humility. Lots of good things come from serving. When you are a leader, it is an opportunity to serve. You serve people, and they follow you.
The College of Science and Mathematics is proud to graduate Red Hawks like Emma, who truly made a difference every day during her studies at Montclair State!