Alice Atswei Mensah, a twenty-eight-year-old from Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, stands as a symbol of unwavering perseverance in a world filled with stories of resilience and determination. Her remarkable journey from a modest family of seven, her relentless pursuit of education, and her steadfast dedication to her family have propelled her onto a path of success, inspiring many along the way.
As the youngest in a close-knit family of four boys and three girls, Alice faced the challenges of limited educational opportunities. Her elder siblings, despite their dreams, had to abandon formal education at an early stage due to financial constraints. Her father, Mr. Joseph Mensah, a retired fisherman, and her mother, Mad. Salomey Adjei, a retired fishmonger, worked tirelessly but could not afford the luxury of schooling for their children.
Determined to break this cycle and create a better future for her family, Alice embarked on her journey of higher education. Jackson College of Education (JCE) became a beacon of hope for her to pursue her academic aspirations. The happiness of receiving her admission letter was overshadowed by financial struggles. The instalment way of paying fees at JCE eased her financial burdens. Undeterred, Alice took a further step by seeking support from her aunt, who compassionately agreed to assist her, enabling her to pay fees and kickstart her academic journey.
Despite financial challenges during her College adventure, Alice refused to be deterred. She worked diligently, teaching at Aldridge Eastenfield Christian School in Spintex for a year and three months. The COVID-19 pandemic posed a temporary setback to her teaching journey, but Alice, resilient as ever, found an alternative position at Amazing Star Nursery and Preparatory School in Teshie Camp 2. Throughout this period, she continued to teach a student from East Airport International School, demonstrating her dedication and love for teaching.
Facing increasing responsibilities, Alice took on additional teaching roles in her neighbourhood, juggling multiple teaching positions and returning home late. Her sacrifices covered nearly 80% of her academic fees, reflecting her commitment not only to her future but to providing for her family.
Guided by unwavering determination, Alice excelled in her studies, avoiding resits and maintaining a strong focus on education. The support system from friends and colleagues at Jackson College of Education played a crucial role, encouraging her to overcome academic challenges.
Balancing academics, work, and potential family responsibilities during her College years was no easy feat, but Alice’s driving force was her determination to complete her education and alleviate the burden on her family. Her goal was clear: finish her studies, secure a better job, and provide for her family. Achieving enviable results, she graduated as the valedictorian of the Diploma in Basic Education programme’s 2022 graduating class.
Alice’s journey offers profound wisdom and gratitude. Her advice to fellow first-generation students emphasizes the importance of pursuing dreams with a clear motive, staying focused, and committing to completion despite inevitable difficulties. She believes that the courage to begin is crucial, and with determination and faith, the rest will fall into place.
Currently pursuing a Post-Diploma in Basic Education Programme at Jackson College of Education, Alice’s story serves as an inspiration, illustrating the transformative power of education and unwavering determination. She has broken the cycle of limited opportunities, carving a path to a brighter future and aspiring to become a professional in her field. Alice’s journey is a tribute to the indomitable human spirit and the enduring power of hope, turning challenges into an inspiring story of resilience and triumph.
Alice Atswei Mensah’s remarkable journey has been greatly enriched by the proud association with Jackson College of Education. We at the College are honoured to have played a part in her journey and are committed to supporting her and others like her to have hope for a brighter future.