Major: Computer and Internetworking Technologies
Although Anas Nanjo Mohammed took programming and networking classes in his native Ghana, he felt like he hadn’t studied anything after enrolling in the same curriculum at College of DuPage.
“The gap is so huge. In Ghana, you’re studying it all, while in America, you are training for one specific field, such as networking,” he said. “I loved the hands-on learning. You have professors here who have worked in the field and are now in the classroom showing you how to do it.”
Mohammed came to the U.S. and College of DuPage through the U.S. State Department’s Community College Initiative Program. Administered by Northern Virginia Community College, the CCI Program provides underserved and underrepresented students from around the world with full scholarships that cover housing, tuition and a monthly stipend for one academic year of study in community colleges. College of DuPage is part of a consortium that consists of nine community colleges across the country, with COD the only school located in the Midwest.
CCI students not only share their diverse cultures with people in the U.S. but also learn about American culture, societies and institutions. Part of the students’ experiences is taking the skills they have learned back to their own communities, allowing them to pass along their expertise to others.
Having completed a certificate in Computer and Internetworking Technologies at COD, and earning high honors in the process, Mohammed returned to Ghana to further his studies and share his networking skills with colleagues.
“The IT industry in Ghana is still growing and I want to help grow that industry,” he said.
While completing his studies at his university, Mohammed was asked to teach “Introduction to Networks,” filling in for a professor on medical leave. He was personally recommended because of his expertise in the field. Because he stayed in touch with CIT Coordinator and Professor Felix Davis at College of DuPage, Mohammed was able to provide his students with access to COD’s remote lab for network lessons.
But he missed College of DuPage. Because technology in the U.S. is so far ahead of Ghana, Mohammed wasn’t challenged by his work or schooling, and he wanted the expertise to truly make a difference at home. So he returned to the U.S., staying with the same host family he met through the CCI Program, and is currently pursuing his associate’s degree at College of DuPage.
“I really missed COD’s professors and resources,” he said. “My goal is to finish my associate’s degree, work here to get experience, and then pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees. When I eventually return home, I will have the knowledge and skills to really help people.”
Mohammed is also working with another CCI alum on “Tisung Farmers,” a sustainability project to help farmers in the upper west region of Ghana increase yield, reduce food insecurity and poverty, and promote climate change. He wants to combine his technology skills with his friend’s agriculture knowledge to form a solid team. Currently he works remotely from the U.S., using technology to market and communicate information about the project’s current initiative on worm infestation.
Mohammed is grateful to the CCI Program and College of DuPage for the opportunity to further his education beyond the borders of his home country. He believes in the CCI Program so much that five students from his school were selected to participate in the program during the next year.
“The U.S. truly answered my prayers,” he said. “I’ve learned about self-responsibility and giving back to society. I feel satisfied when I’m able to help someone and I want to continue doing so.”
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2018 College of DuPage