In keeping with its mission of developing the youth for a better future, the Edusei Foundation on Saturday galvanized an impressive group of professionals to interact with and offer professional guidance to the youth of Toronto, Canada in the third installment of its Youth Workshops. The Toronto event followed earlier successful ones in Hartford, Connecticut and London. The Dr. Bawuah-Edusei-sponsored event brought in professionals from Washington, DC, New York City, Houston, Hartford Connecticut, Columbus, Ohio, and Miami to join their colleagues in Toronto to present that city’s youth a workshop which one third year college student described as “highly valuable.” The workshop begun with an “inspiring speech” by Dr, Kwame Bawuah-Edusei during which he challenged the well over one hundred and fifty students and aspiring entrepreneurs to “say no” to not only drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, but to other non-productive activities and behaviors that have bedeviled today’s youth. Dr. Bawuah-Edusei further encouraged the youth to learn life surviving skills as they will help them to navigate through the turbulence associated with growing up. This was followed by presentations by successful young professionals who are only a few years older, but whose academic and professional accomplishments would inspire even the world’s consummate pessimists. For example during lunch, one high school attendee was overheard wondering “is that guy is a doctor” in reference to Dr. Kofi Darko who made a compelling presentation on a roadmap to success. Dr. Kofi Darko has spent a good portion of his early life educating himself across four countries including Ghana, Canada, Sweden and Portugal. Complementing Dr. Darko’s youth and intellect was Dr. Maud Murray, a second generation accomplished Ghanaian in the Toronto community who also made an awe-inspiring presentation to the youth highlighting the need for young people to consider researching their chosen fields before pursuing them.
Although a couple of the professionals were of an earlier generation, the Edusei Foundation’s strategy of showcasing young professionals as presenters in its series of youth workshops appear to be positively impacting the target audience. In particular the young presenters were able to use diction and real life examples that resonated with the packed hall. After the presentations, Dr. Bawuah-Edusei heralded an interactive question-and-answer session where the youth asked questions from college study habits to starting a new enterprise. This was followed by the separate workshops that covered Nursing, Law, Medicine, Information Technology, Business, and Engineering. The Edusei Foundation, while it is happy to begin the process of galvanizing the youth to stay positive and focus on education with these workshops, is even more adamant that the youth be empowered to carry the torch themselves. In an era when most young people feel entitled to being handed their success, the Edusei Foundation wants to instill in them a sense of urgency when it comes to charting their own future. The workshop closed with a moving vote of thanks by Mrs Bawuah-Edusei and a reciprocating vote of thanks by Stacey Opoku, who also did an outstanding job as co-MC of the event. The Youth Workshop in Toronto will be followed closely by a much anticipated one in Washington, DC next week, and New York City later this month