Every individual hopes to live better than they currently are in the near future. They seek avenues that would support their dreams and help them live impactful lives.
The dreams of a child are enormous and one thing that is evident in every single one of them is the lack of focus on the current challenges they find themselves. All they tune their attention to are the endless possibilities of excelling in life.
This is the story of one Ghanaian lady who made a decision not to allow her low financial background while growing up to define what she can be in future.
With determination accompanied by resilience, Paulina rose above the challenges life threw at her and fought her battles head-on.
She eventually moved from being just the regular farm girl who had nothing to her name to venturing into one of the most prestigious professions in the world.
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Paulina Boadiwaa Mensah is a Ghanaian Medical Doctor who had her tertiary education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
She has opened up about her journey to success in an exclusive interview with YEN.com.gh.
I grew up in different places in the Ashanti Region; Ejura, Foase-Afrancho and a suburb just called 'Agric'
Life as a farm girl
I actually do have fond memories of farm life. It was physically tough but I enjoyed it. I'd have to wake up early to clean the house and compound, get water from the sole tap in my community till we later got a well to draw from. I would get firewood for cooking after that.
We were rearing goats and fowls and grew maize, so I'd have to go cut some forage for the goats and help with feeding the fowls; getting them water, and collecting the eggs and any other tasks required in the day.
If it was harvest season then there was also maize deshelling, packing and storage to do.
The transition to KNUST to read Human Biology
I attended Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast. My admission process into medical school was not easy but we sailed through.
Financial struggles in school
My major challenge was financial. I had to combine medical school with side businesses on KNUST campus eg. Selling fresh eggs, selling snacks, selling surgical scrubs. The time it required to run these businesses and the time I had to devote to my studies clashed and it was tough balancing these
Light at the end of the tunnel
I eventually got selected as an MTN Bright Scholar which was a relief! I saw a major jump in my grades after I stopped the businesses and focused solely on school work when I got the scholarship.
I didn't specifically search for the MTN Scholarship, but because when I'm online, most of my time is spent on articles related to education, technology, healthcare, productivity, the algorithm sent the announcement my way. I'm not one to ignore opportunities so I gave the application my best shot and God being so good I was selected.
Achievements so far
I won the maiden editions of both UBA's national essay competition, and the Microsoft Office competition in SHS. I have been exploring the role of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare and from the latter part of last year till February of 2021, the world's leading online educational platform, Coursera, featured my work and progress in some articles and videos on their blog and social media channels.
Becoming a Medical Doctor
My decision to be a medical doctor wasn't based on one particular instance. My interest in learning about the human body, battling health problems in my family, and looking out at societal needs all factored into it.
At home, almost all illnesses were treated with herbs; neem tree, lemon grass, acacia leaves, moringa, in fact various plants and various mixtures. It was only when that didn't work that a trip to the clinic was made.
These experiences made me throw questions at myself in an attempt to find the intersections between herbal and orthodox medicine, and that informed my decision to get into medical school.
Passion as a young lady
I am passionate about improving quality of healthcare and access to healthcare in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Beyond medical school I have been involved in different projects to this regard; volunteering, research and working with International Global Health organizations such as Project Liaison.
I also care about the educational and economic progress of African women and i've played important roles in Yielding Accomplished African Women, an NGO, whose mission is focused on that.
YEN.com.gh earlier reported that a female student celebrated finishing her undergraduate program and shared her excitement on social media.
Ejim Judith who uses a wheelchair finally finished medical school and is now a doctor.
Sharing a beautiful photoshoot in a medical outfit on her Facebook page, the lady stated that she overcame and appreciated God for making it possible.
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