Angela Frimpong ’20 Receives Samuel Huntington Public Service Award

May 21, 2020
Angela Frimpong, class of 2020, is a recipient of the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award.
Angela Frimpong ’20, is a recipient of the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award.

Angela Frimpong ’20 has received the prestigious Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, which provides a $15,000 stipend to graduating college seniors to pursue a meaningful public service activity anywhere in the world for one year prior to graduate school or employment.

Frimpong, from Accra, Ghana, is a sociology major with a global development studies concentration. As one of only 80 named awardees since the program’s inception in 1989, Frimpong will develop a youth entrepreneurship program that she named EntrepreYearn.

The program aims to inspire youth in Gbulahagu, a rural community in Northern Ghana, to obtain further education, skills training, and even start their own business. In implementing this program, part of the funds will renovate a public junior high school to increase the number of classrooms for a lower teacher to student ratio.

Frimpong was inspired to start this project during her Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) research on apprenticeship education in Northern Ghana. She examined how apprenticeship programs help youth find jobs in their communities in Northern Ghana, so they do not have to migrate to work in urban Ghana under inhumane conditions. Frimpong envisions EntrepreYearn as a program to support youth education and inspire socioeconomic development in Northern Ghana. Beyond her service year, she has coordinated with Savana Signatures, a local nonprofit organization, for the sustainability and management of the program.

“Educate!, a 2011 Grinnell Prize-winning nonprofit which provides entrepreneurship education to youth in East Africa showed me what EntrepreYearn could possibly look like,” said Frimpong.

Frimpong’s academic curriculum and multiple service and leadership experiences have informed her ideas and passion for working to solve social issues. In spring 2017, Frimpong applied and received the $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace summer award to design a solution to the issue of high dropout rates and the prevalence of internet crime among youth in Jamestown, Ghana. While an intern at Challenging Heights in summer 2018, she learned about building connections with community partners with the goal of solving deeply rooted social issues. She additionally recognizes how sitting on the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee and the Rosenfield committee has given her the language to discuss complex social issues in a variety of contexts.

“Along Frimpong’s inspiring journey at Grinnell, she has welcomed conversation and mentoring from multiple constituents, applied for nationally competitive awards and utilized funding resources,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean and director of global fellowships and awards. “This initiative and the personal and professional qualities that Angela displays are fundamentally important to navigate and support our global society.”

In reflection of her time at Grinnell, Frimpong shares, “It is important to build a strong community of other students and mentors who can push you to achieve your professional and academic goals. There are many opportunities for students to grow both professionally and academically within and outside of the College, using the CLS and other resources will make you more competitive for these opportunities.”

Following the award year, Frimpong plans to enroll in a master’s program in either public policy or international development with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Grinnell College’s first recipient of the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award was Kent Koth ’90 who with the award created the Alternative Break Coalition in Portland, Oregon, where he recruited Oregon’s college students to do volunteer work in a variety of settings during their spring and summer vacations.

For advising and support visit with the Global Fellowships and Awards Program in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service and engage with your staff, faculty, and alumni mentors.

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