On June 24, 2017, nearly 2,000 family, friends, students and alumni will join the Class of 2017 to celebrate their graduation from Ashesi. And when it’s time to tell them about the class and also inspire the graduates, the onus will be on Aba Wilmot.

“It’s a great honour to represent my class,” says the Business Administration major, who was elected by her classmates. “When I found out, I immediately called my mum, who is my number one fan and means the world to me! I’m definitely excited about putting all our stories together to share to the world on graduation day.”

Four years ago, however, when Aba was rounding off her senior high school education at O'Rielly Senior High School in Accra, Ashesi was nowhere on her radar. “There was not a single consideration about Ashesi,” she said. “Paying for college was going to be a burden for my family, so I had limited my choices to just the public schools in Ghana.”

However, after a family member coaxed her into applying, telling her about Ashesi’s financial aid program, she yielded and hoped for the best. “When I applied and was awarded a scholarship, it was a dream come true,” says the MasterCard Foundation scholar. “I would be able to go to college without the burden of paying for anything! Ashesi was definitely a beginning of a new journey for me.”

“Before Ashesi, I had never lived away from my mother, or never lived on my own,” she says. “My whole journey at Ashesi has been my growing up phase. Now, I can identify the things I can do, and the things I want to do. The people I have met here and the soft skills I have picked up have been a huge impact on my life and on the way I think.”

For Aba, who has been on the Dean’s List every semester while at Ashesi, she has also come to learn the importance of valuing small efforts and contributions. Through her speech she hopes to not only celebrate her class, but also to encourage them to focus on making impact in any capacity they find themselves.

“Today, more and more people are drawn into chasing stardom in their careers and professions as a precursor to making impact,” says Aba. “I hope I can encourage my fellow graduates to start making impact immediately, wherever we find ourselves: whether as a game changer, or part of a supporting cast.”

Following Ashesi, Aba is looking forward to helping small and medium scale enterprises grow their businesses. “Most small businesses remain small, and often require a small push to help them grow, and I hope I can help them scale their businesses for more impact,” she says.