Ask anyone on our campus about this student, and two phrases are bound to come up; ‘service to the under-resourced’ and ‘exemplary leadership’.
Since he joined the Ashesi community, his name has been synonymous with music and computer literacy.
As a Sophomore, he founded the Berekuso Music Project, an after-school program where he and other students volunteered to teach music at the Berekuso High School.
For him, this was his way of giving back to the world of music, which in his words, ‘changed his life.’ The project subsequently birthed the Berekuso Ensemble, a choral group made up of students from the Berekuso junior high school, who have to date performed here on campus, at the American Embassy in Ghana, and at other events.
Back on campus, this young man also helped establish the Ashesi Chorale; a music group made up of Ashesi students, which you heard sing here today. He also founded an I.T training programme targeted at under-resourced communities in Ghana, named Tech Era. In his words, Tech Era was established from a passion to see IT become a local language spoken by all Africans, including and especially, the underprivileged in society.
Guided by his leadership, Tech Era has grown into a multi-module organization, since its inception in 2015. To date, the program has founded robotics clubs in two technical schools, runs a program to teach I.T to visually impaired teachers and students at the Akropong School of the Blind, and has trained many students in rural areas to become computer literate.
It was his work with Tech Era, that got the attention of the Queens Young Leaders Awards selection team, which named him an awardee in 2018. He will be one 60 young leaders from around the world whose award will be presented this month by Queen Elizabeth II, in London.
A 2016 Dalai Lama fellow and nominated by his peers for several student leadership awards, we look forward to seeing this student make a global impact as he graduates from Ashesi today.
For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Derrick Omari.
Derrick’s mother, who is a hawker, accepted the award on his behalf because he is currently in the UK waiting to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth II.