If you were to take a walk through the campus of Alabama A&M University (affectionately known as “The Hill”), you might notice two things: images of the historic black college’s bulldog mascot and one of the university’s newest students, Isaac Nketiah Anokye. Originally from Accra, Ghana in Africa, Isaac is one of AAMU’s more than 5,000 undergraduate students, and one of about 70 international students. He is also a bulldog in more ways than one, because not only is he an AAMU student, he’s also someone who had to be tough and tenacious to get there. He didn’t do it alone, however. He also got help from A+ Test Prep and Tutoring.
About five months ago, President of A+, Dan Ascher, described Isaac as the son of “a single mother with medical issues” with a strong interest in computer science and impressive “drive and persistence.” Ascher also shared how Isaac found A+ online, participated in one of its group test prep courses, and received advice as well as financial assistance so he could apply to colleges in the United States. Isaac’s story, his scores, and his indomitable spirit ultimately earned him admission and a full scholarship to attend Alabama A&M University. We recently caught up with Isaac to reflect on his experience with A+ and see how he’s doing now.
A+: Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to study here in the USA.
ANOKYE: Studying in the US is obviously a dream come true. It is counted as one of my greatest achievements.
A+: When we previously checked in with you, you were in the process of applying to college. How did you ultimately end up at Alabama A&M University?
ANOKYE: I have always wanted to major in Computer Science, and as I further my education I want to specifically move into the cybersecurity field. I found that Alabama A&M University has a reputable computer science program that is accredited by ABBET and also has a strong concentration in Cybersecurity. So, I decided on Alabama A&M University because of their reputable computer science program. Secondly, funding also played a role in my decision. I was awarded a full-ride scholarship to AAMU.
A+: Can you share anything that you learned about the process of getting into college?
ANOKYE: I have learned that hard work, determination, and perseverance pay off. Even though it’s hard in the beginning, if you make giving up not an option and keep believing in yourself, there is going to be joy at the end.
A+: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would you say? What do you wish you would have known?
ANOKYE: I wish I had known earlier how important it is to make good connections with good people.
A+: Here at A+ Test Prep, we are so proud and pleased with everything you’ve accomplished. Can you talk a little bit about how A+ supported you over the past few years? What do you think made the biggest difference?
ANOKYE: I can not thank Mr. Daniel Ascher (President of A+) enough for all the kindness and support he has given me throughout this journey. A+ has supported me by raising funds through the GoFundMe platform to pay for my official SAT registration, passport, my Machine Readable visa fee and SEVIS fee during my visa application.
A+: What are your future plans for college and beyond?
ANOKYE: As a computer science major, I plan to work towards a Bachelor’s, then Master’s degree, before ultimately earning my Doctorate degree so I can go into the cybersecurity field of research.
A+: What advice would you give to young people who are just starting out on their college admissions journey?
ANOKYE: It is going to be hard, overwhelming, and effort-demanding, but do not give up on your journey because of the obstacles you may face. You are going to make a lot of sacrifices. However, at the end you will feel established and proud of yourself. You will know that the prize is worth all the sacrifices that you made.
A+: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your experiences or what it was like working with A+?
ANOKYE: From my experience working with A+, I have known that good people still exist and you should not be afraid to ask for help. If you are working hard for something good, it’s worth it.
Isaac Nketiah Anokye has come a long way. From a simple Google search about SAT test prep at his home in Accra, Ghana to sitting in computer science classes at Alabama A&M University, Isaac took initiative, worked hard, and made connections so he could realize his dreams. We at A+ supported Isaac because we believed in him and believe in the power of education to transform lives. It’s why, in addition to our usual paid test prep services, we offer test prep to several pro bono clients a year. We are proud of Isaac’s accomplishments and remain committed to helping students achieve their college goals.