An exceptional Ghanaian, Frank Addae shared the journey of his life tagged “MY JOURNEY FROM A SMALL VILLAGE TO HARVARD” on his LinkedIn profile.
Frank narrated how he was born and raised by a parent who never got married even after his birth in a small village in Ghana, and had to live with his grandmother to begin his education. His father was a pupil teacher who earned less than 500 Ghana Cedis. At the age of 4, he lived with his dad and stepmother where he started his education afresh.
But for the sake of his obstinate actions as at then, he was sent back to the village where he completed his primary education at Mfuom Methodist School. In a bid to support his poor parents, he would sell foodstuffs, kerosene and other farm produce after school and during the weekend, that’s how hardworking Frank was as a child until he wrote his Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in 2013.
Frank’s academic performance improved as he advanced in level (high school) despite the financial difficulty his family faced that he had to study on empty stomach at times and did not have hopes of how his school fees would be paid.
His unrelenting diligence in his studies earned him a spot to represent his school at the 2016 National Science & Maths (NSMQ) regional and national championships while in high school. Just like that wasn’t enough, he graduated as the overall best student at BOASS in 2016 with 7A1s and a B2, which happens to be the first since the inception of the school.
His thirst to be a university graduate motivated him to start working towards it. After high school, he tutored at Excel Wisdom Academy, Ghana for 12 months to enable him to save up money for his university education.
2017 wasn’t a pleasant year for him as he was denied admission into two medical schools; the University of Ghana (UG) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
He lamented over his inability to be shortlisted for interviews by those institutions to prove his eligibility to study medicine. The same year he was finally admitted into the University of Health and Allied Sciences medical school but unfortunately, he couldn’t meet up with fees. Luckily, he got a late admission into the University of Ghana to study Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, and his journey to the university was activated.
Frank never relented in his academics, he won various awards and was the valedictorian of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana.
Subsequently, Frank developed an interest in Biomedical Research during his second year at the university. Thus, he prepared himself for graduate studies in the aforementioned field while putting more effort to actualize them. He participated and presented his undergraduate research work at three international conferences and one local conference in parasitology (that’s a move for someone who’s focused on achieving excellence).
Frank started his graduate studies journey by applying to 13 universities including Harvard University with a focus on the field of malaria research. He was turned down by 12 universities out of the 13 universities he applied for without being shortlisted or invited for any preliminary interviews.
Guess what! After a tedious application process, Frank was accepted by Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as the only African among 10 accepted students to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences in Public Health with a specialization in Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
Indeed, hard work pays, and in the words of Frank while advising those found in similar situations like his “Don’t consider it a failure when things don’t go as expected. When I was rejected from medical school, I felt as though I had failed. Unexpectedly, God had certain plans that He had etched out for me. Work hard and have faith in God’s plan. You will make it!”. Indeed, success requires hard work, diligence, steadfastness, commitment, and never giving up to actualize.