I would like to thank all of you once again for your support, sharing this link with others, and your donations. It means a lot to me to have you all support me and help me turn my dream into a reality! Because of you all I know I will have the opportunity to study abroad in Ghana this summer!!!! I must say I am excited and extremely thankful for each of you!
I recently became a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship and received sponsorship from Mizzou!!! All of my school-related fees have been taken care of by the scholarship and MU. I am now responsible for my flight, meals, vaccinations, and traveling allowance. Your contributions have totaled to a little over $2,000.00 after deductions from gofundme and wepay! Only $1,571.03 left and I'll be set for Ghana!!!! The deadline for fundraising is June 24.
I am asking you all to help me raise $1,571.03 so that I can leave for Ghana June 28!! Please help me by sharing this link with your family and friends and if you have more to give please do so (every penny counts). Again, thanks for all that you've done!! I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!
My name is DeShaunya Ware. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in Social Work.
I started this website because I have been selected to study abroad this summer in Cape Coast, Ghana along with 17 other students. Traveling abroad to Africa has always been a dream of mine. Unfortunately, I don't have sufficient funds to take part in the program and I'm hoping to get help from my family, friends, and supporters to turn my dream into a reality. I was recently awarded a scholarship but I still need financial assistance.
I am passionate about using my personal strengths to help others succeed and achieve their goals. Leading with a service mindset is important to me because my mom raised me as a single parent and, while she struggled tremendously, because of the programs in our community and many service-minded individuals we were given help and provided with the resources we needed for academic and personal achievement. I was able to excel and realize my potential because of the service of others. Without these programs I believe I would not have had the support or knowledge I needed in order to attend an institute of higher learning. Through these programs I was able to develop personally and professionally, and learned the importance of staying true to my beliefs and values. I learned how to become an advocate for my peers and myself. Service has taught me the importance of modeling successful behaviors and being the change I want to see in the world by striving for excellence each day. I would like to bring the strengths I've cultivated with the assistance of others to my work in Ghana through studying abroad.
Background of Program & Expenses Covered
I will earn six credit hours for an intensive month-long service learning and cultural experience living and working in Ghana. I will engage in direct, hands-on service at local organizations in addition to working on my "impact" project, which is my final project that will come from one of the following focus areas: education, public health, community and economic development, and environmental studies. We had to list our top choices based on the organizations we'll be working for. My focus area will be between education and public health. In the education area I will be responsible for working at an independent school providing quality education for low-income children, teaching students with special needs basic life skills and regular educational lessons. My focus within public health will allow me serve children and adults in the community by educating them about AIDS/HIV and STDs, and providing advocacy and training in health and sanitation to equip the community to make good decisions regarding their health. I will be introduced to the culture, history, and societal norms of Ghana through excursions, activities, coursework, and the overall experience.
The funds you contribute will be used for tuition, round-trip airfare, insurance, technology fee, study abroad administration fee, program fee, meals, passport and visa fees, immunizations, and personal allowance. The program fee includes advising, predeparture assistance, visa fees, registration and on site services (travel in Ghana, to and from airport in Accra, local organization placements, and excursions), field trips, and on site support staff from ProWorld. For more information regarding the program, here's the link: http://international.missouri.edu/study-outside-the-us/programs/detail.php?program=10020
I want to study abroad in Ghana to explore the culture first-hand and take control of my future. Studying abroad in Ghana will allow me to learn about another culture and as a social worker it is vital to be culturally diverse. A person's culture reflects their beliefs and values that influence the way they view the world. This experience will allow me to gather a true understanding of the perspectives of individuals from a culture different from my own and the importance of their beliefs, values, and morals. Through this opportunity I will be a representative of my culture and encourage positive understanding of global diversity. I also want to study abroad to take control of my future. Studying abroad will expose me to numerous experiences that I believe will influence me for the rest of my life. Because of the experiences I will gain, I believe I will become the change agent I strive to be each day and a better educator to my peers, students, and family. After this experience, I intend to share the stories and struggles of Ghanaians and inspire others to get involved and help in anyway they can. I will be the first in my family to travel overseas, gain knowledge, develop a better insight for my future, and be the difference I want to see in the world by serving people in need in another country.
Additionally, traveling to Ghana will expand my perspectives of poverty and inequalities from my experience in St. Louis to a global scale. Growing up in a single parent household and surrounded largely by other families living in poverty, I was an anomaly when I chose to go off to college. As a first-generation college student, I knew that the opportunities at MU would be far beyond what anyone in my family had experienced before. So many people around the world, including Ghanaians, face adversities different from and perhaps more difficult than the struggles I endured growing up. The inequalities that I know first-hand are not unique to St. Louis but at the same time may be vastly different from inequalities in a place like Ghana. I want to be an advocate for children in my community someday and thus by traveling to Ghana and broadening my perspective of what it means to be poor, unhealthy and uneducated, I hope I can promote awareness of the disparities some Ghanaians face. By understanding these challenges, I can not only help them obtain the resources they need to live healthy lives, be better educated, and become self-sufficient individuals but apply my learning back to those living in poverty in the U.S.
Studying abroad in Ghana will help meet my personal and academic goals by providing me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn and give me a cultural experience and context to better serve my community. I will be given the opportunity to influence children in another part of the world to believe in themselves and chase their dreams. I believe this opportunity will change my outlook on my life and be truly inspirational.
Through this website I will explain how the funding allowed me to give back to Ghanaians and had such a positive and profound impact on my present life and future plans. I will blog and post pictures about my experiences, showing those who helped raise money for me specifically how their funds aided me, allowing me turn my dream into a reality. Upon, completion of my study abroad program, I will go back to my Alma Mater, Construction Careers Center Charter High School and share my study abroad experiences with a younger generation and explain why studying abroad is essential to any college career and should be a priority when they enter college. At MU, I plan to volunteer in the International Center Office and share my experience with potential applicants for the Ghana program. I will promote this site and explain how each of you (my supporters) afforded the trip and how without your support I may not received the opportunity to study abroad.
Right now, the greatest challenge I face is overcoming financial obstacles that are preventing me from participating in this incredible program. Therefore, I am applying for scholarships, researching loans, and asking for sponsorship to help with the finances of this trip. My entire life I have struggled with finances and I believe that sharing my story with youth abroad will inspire them to not let limited opportunities hinder them from success. If given the opportunity to study abroad, I am confident that I will make a bigger difference in the lives of others when I return home.
I hope you decide to help me fund my dream of traveling abroad to be a change agent, making a difference in children's lives one child at a time.
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