I don't want to ever hear another young person complain about how it's too hard to get a college degree or that it takes too long or that it's too late for them to start studying for one.
Ninety-nine-year-old World War II veteran
Akasease Kofi Boakye Yiadom
has just graduated from
Presbyterian University College's
business school in
. He enrolled when he was 96.
"Education has no end," Yiadom told CNN. "As far as your brain can work alright, your eyes can see alright, and your ears can hear alright, if you go to school you can learn."
Now Yiadom is on a mission to get collegiate graduates of his own country to stay there. The phenomena is known as "brain drain." Some Ghanaian college graduates leave because the pay is better elsewhere while others are dealing with the fact that there are no jobs to be had. Hardest hit are the health care professions and the financial services sector. Both of these areas are an important part of a country's development. "If it is a scant pay, you have to accept it, because it is the government's money that has been used to educate you," he said. "So if you have finished school and passed your degree, you have to stay in Ghana and serve Ghana." I had the pleasure of visiting Ghana a couple of years ago. Though they are doing better than many African nations, they are still struggling with developing their economy and fighting basic health issues. I was so impressed to see young people lined up around the block to vote in that country's presidential elections. I understand the desire of young people with an education to use their degrees to help their families and their countries. CNN reports, "According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) more than a million Ghanaians migrated from 2000 to 2007, but more than 85 percent return temporarily or permanently." When conditions improve in Ghana, I'm sure more young people will stay. The lesson young African-Americans can take is the various opportunities available to you upon attaining higher education. If young people in Ghana are getting an education with limited opportunities, young people here should be happy that they can, even during a recession, take advantage of the greater opportunities available here. If a 99-year-old man can go to school, so can you.