Not everyone can say they’re a first-generation student from Ghana serving in the National Guard. Charles Tetteh can.
Tetteh is a junior majoring in economics and international studies. He moved to the U.S. from Ghana at the end of his senior year of high school.
“I don’t want to say it’s the American Dream,” Tetteh said. “It’s a lot of adjusting and different things. I’d rather live in America than Ghana. America provides opportunities for people.”
Tetteh moved to Columbus, Ohio directly from Ghana. He proceeded to receive his GED outside high school. Tetteh then enrolled at Columbus State Community College, and it was there that he enlisted in the National Guard.
“I lacked motivation,” Tetteh said. “I wasn’t getting good grades or doing my homework. I thought the National Guard would help with that. It has helped me adapt.”
After the 2021-2022 academic year, Tetteh transferred to Miami University, desiring a four-year institution with more student support. Miami gave him that opportunity with its use of resources.
“All the teachers and staff here [at Miami] want me to succeed,” Tetteh said. “There’s so much support from everyone. I feel more confident here.”
When Tetteh arrived on campus, he took in his surroundings as any new student would. But the demographics, in particular, stood out to him.
“Coming to the school I knew I would see mostly white people,” Tetteh said. “But I saw about one Black person … out of 100 without trying to exaggerate.”
Tetteh had heard this before transferring schools.
“I don’t blame the school,” he said. “It’s just who goes here. It has a stigma attached to it as a white school.”
Upon his arrival on campus, Tetteh joined the African Student Union (ASU), an organization that represents the African community on campus.
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“It’s where I see the most Black people,” Tetteh said. “It’s a way to learn about African culture and background.”
When considering his different life experiences so far, Tetteh does not think anything has changed his endeavor as a college student in Oxford, Ohio.
“I’m just another Miami Student,” Tetteh said.