‘I feel I have a very big task ahead,’ says first recipient of Northeastern’s Chanrai Family Graduate Scholarship
Kelvin Amakye is the first recipient of the Chanrai Family Graduate Scholarship which he will use to pursue a master’s degree in bioengineering.
Kelvin Amakye remembers the clanking sound of his father’s keys.
“When you hear that noise, you definitely have to run toward your [room] and start to read,” he says.
His father was a strict disciplinarian, Amakye says, and it kept him and his brothers on their toes when they were growing up in Koforidua, a green city with almost 200,000 residents in the Eastern region of Ghana.
“I think it was worth it,” says Amakye, who is the first recipient of the Chanrai Family Graduate Scholarship, announced in March by Subodh Chanrai, a member of Northeastern’s Board of Trustees, during the 2023 Global Leadership Summit in Accra, Ghana.
The scholarship is intended to provide educational opportunities to promising young Ghanaians. Amakye, 23, will be pursuing a master’s degree in bioengineering in the College of Engineering at Northeastern.
Amakye’s parents have a small tire-trading business. His father didn’t have an opportunity to study when he was young, so he made sure his children had the best education from the very start.
“He believed in the importance of education, and he knew that we had potential,” Amakye says. “When I grew up I really appreciated everything he has done for me.”
His upbringing made him very responsible, he says. He and his brothers have an instilled attitude to try as hard as they can and make sure they do everything as best as they can.
Amakye studied in public schools and got into a well-respected all-boys boarding high school in his city—Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary. In high school, he was seriously considering medical school. Then he realized that he excelled at physics and mathematics, Amakye says, and eventually decided to bridge medicine and engineering by pursuing further education in biomedical engineering.
He was accepted into the University of Ghana, the county’s foremost institution of higher learning, for his bachelor’s degree. In his penultimate year, Amakye was honored as one of the outstanding students in his class by the dean of the School of Engineering Sciences. The provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences recognized Amakye as one of the very best students of the entire college in the final year of his studies as a result of his hard work, sheer merit and continued grit.
Amakye has proven his theoretic and pragmatic abilities in the field of biomedical engineering by leading a team of students that designed a low-cost infant incubator, while studying at the university.