Alice Atswei Mensah stands out as an embodiment of perseverance in a world filled with stories of resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit.

Alice’s extraordinary journey from a modest family of seven comprising four boys and three girls, her tireless pursuit of education, and her unwavering dedication to her family have set her on a path to success and inspired many along the way.

Alice, the seventh-born, has emerged as a source of hope and inspiration. She hails from a family where educational opportunities are scarce: Her father, Mr Joseph Mensah, a retired fisherman, and her mother, Mad. Salomey Adjei, a retired fishmonger, worked tirelessly to provide for their children but couldn’t afford the luxury of formal education. As a result, despite their dreams, Alice’s older siblings had to drop out of school early, primarily during their primary education.

The determination to break this cycle and create a better future for her family and herself fueled Alice’s pursuit of higher education. She recounted, “Financially, my family was struggling, and we couldn’t afford to send my elder sister, Janet, to the university despite completing Senior High School. Witnessing my siblings’ challenges in pursuing education, I promised myself that I would find a way to go to the university, even if it meant working multiple jobs to support myself through College.”

Her academic journey began when she enrolled at Jackson College of Education, an endeavour fraught with financial uncertainties. Alice faced the daunting challenge of paying her College fees, as her parents couldn’t provide financial support. In a heartfelt admission, she revealed, “I was the happiest soul on Earth when I received the admission letter, but the happiness was short-lived as the deadline for fee payment approached, and I still lacked the necessary funds.”

Alice’s unwavering spirit, determination, and love for her family inspired her to take a bold step. She approached one of her aunts, explaining her situation and seeking financial assistance. The compassionate aunt agreed to support Alice. The installment package (Susu-lie payment) given at JCE allowed her to pay her fees in installments and kickstart her academic journey. This support from JCE was a turning point in Alice’s life, a testament to the institution’s commitment to its students’ success.

As Alice embarked on her College adventure, she continued to encounter financial challenges. No support system was in place, but she refused to let this deter her. Instead, she worked diligently to make ends meet. Her resilience led her to teach at Aldridge Eastenfield Christian School in Spintex, where she spent one year and three months.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted her teaching journey, as all the teachers were sent home. Undeterred, Alice sought alternative teaching positions and found a job at Amazing Star Nursery and Preparatory School in Teshie Camp 2. There, she worked for three years while pursuing her three-year Diploma in Basic Education at Jackson College of Education.

Even during the pandemic, Alice’s indomitable spirit shone through. Her dedication and love for teaching led her to assist a student from East Airport International School. This commitment provided her with an additional source of income to support her education. Despite the challenges, she persevered, teaching the young girl while maintaining her teaching responsibilities at Amazing Star Nursery and Preparatory School.

As her academic journey continued, she was forced to take on even more responsibility, taking other children for home tuition in her neighbourhood. This commitment saw her juggling multiple teaching roles, often returning home late, but it allowed her to cover nearly 80% of her academic fees.

Alice’s incredible sacrifices weren’t just for her future; they were to provide for her family. With her mother and father unemployed and her siblings struggling to support their own families, Alice stepped into the role of provider for her parents and extended family. Her achievements not only brought her personal success but also a sense of pride and relief to her family, a feeling that many of us can relate to when our loved ones succeed against all odds.

Alice’s academic journey was guided by her unwavering determination and commitment to her goal. She set out to excel in her studies, avoiding resits and maintaining a strong focus on her education. This dedication culminated in her being awarded the overall best student for the class of 2022 during the 11th Congregation ceremony of the College. Her friends and colleagues from Jackson College of Education provided an invaluable support system, constantly encouraging her and helping her overcome academic challenges.




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