May 20, 2005
Vol. 35, Issue 9
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Graduates embark on caring, creative courses
Bulloch takes circuitous route
2005 Sullivan Awards
Aunspaugh Fifth-Year fellows in studio art
Whitlow blends photography and writing to create a new form of graphic novel
Phan relies on father's advice: 'Education is the key to survival'
Research trip to China helps student decide between career as scientist or physician

A-School students get big picture through outreach program

McIntosh learns from patients, follows their stories
Taite creates permanent home for Nicaraguan Orphan Fund
McDonald founded U.Va. chapter of Innocence Project that frees the wrongly convicted
Claudia Aguilar is an advocate for Hispanic/Latino students
Welch giving physics new energy through creative teaching methods
Wise grad paving way for siabled students
Education grad Michael Townes puts his newfound faith into action
The Center for Undergraduate Excellence is where students thrive
Numbers make sense to her
Student film documents foot soldiers in Virginia's Civil Rights Movement
Korean-American student shares journey to self-discovery
Few can keep uo with this Jones

 

'LIFE... IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT'

Fatima Boamah
Photo by Dan Addison

Working full-time, adapting to a new culture, raising three children and attending school at night is difficult — that’s a fact.  But it’s not impossible if you’re determined and organized. Fatima Boamah is both.

“I wanted to finish my bachelor’s degree before my oldest child became a teenager,” she said. Her eldest, Richard, is nine. “If you are determined, you can see past the difficulties.”

She has done just that. Boamah, 34, will walk the Lawn on May 22 to accept her bachelor’s of interdisciplinary studies degree, with a concentration in business.

A native of Ghana, Boamah works in the accounting department and audit unit at State Farm Insurance in Charlottesville. Her new degree will help her advance professionally.

Her organizational skills also included giving birth to her third child, Madelyn, in her final semester.

“We planned it,” she said. “I made sure when I became pregnant that I only had two classes left for that semester.”

There were times, Boamah said, when it was tough to juggle everything, but she never considered delaying her education. She credited her husband, Fred, with tremendous support and help with the children while she was in class and doing homework.

With the rigors of school over, she wants to spend more time with her family.

“I have taken a lot of time away from them,” she said, while admitting she will miss being at BIS. “I like the exchange of ideas, the team building, the institution and my colleagues.”

Boamah’s family came to Charlottesville, where they had relatives, directly from Ghana in 1996 “to further my education and for a change of life,” she said. “It’s an adventure.” 

She had worked for the Ghanaian government as a senior accountants assistant with the comptroller’s office in the Accountants General Department in Accra. But she said her credentials and experience were not recognized in the United States, and she had to start over. This included getting an associate’s degree in business administration from Piedmont Virginia Community College before enrolling in the BIS program.

Her adventure will continue, she promises, as she weighs her options, including becoming a certified public accountant and possibly attending U.Va.’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

“Life is good, and it is what you make of it,” she said. “If you are determined to succeed, you will succeed.”



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