Benny Acquah remembers the trouble people sometimes had obtaining clean water in her home city of Koforidua, Ghana. So she decided she would study environmental engineering at UAF and someday help solve such problems.
“For us to make the world a better place, it needs to come from you and me,” she said.
Acquah, who came to Anchorage from Ghana six years ago, also hosts a weekly radio show of Afrobeat on KSUA-FM and serves in UAF’s student government.
“I like to help out and share ideas,” she said.
Acquah’s mother moved to Anchorage from Ghana in 2005. Acquah followed years later, in 2014. She attended Bartlett High School in Anchorage. Her two older brothers also now live in Anchorage, but her father and two sisters remain in Ghana.
Koforidua is a medium-sized city located just north of Accra, the capital of Ghana, a country along Africa’s Gulf of Guinea.
“There is a lot of pollution. Growing up seeing that, that just really brought me into the field of environmental engineering,” Acquah said.
Some places in Ghana don’t have guaranteed drinking water.
“In some little towns, it’s hard for them to have access to it,” she said. “Sometimes we have to go to the well, and also sometimes they turn it off for the whole month.”
Acquah’s background in Ghana also led to her volunteer role at UAF’s student radio station, where she DJs the Afrobeat show.
“Back home, music is pretty much a way of life,” she said. “We play music for 24 hours a day.”