Darrell Kwateng, Anchieta Class of 2018
The Past three years at Portsmouth Abbey have really flown by, and as I am finally thinking about what’s next there is definitely some nervous excitement brewing. As a Red Key Student Leader (admissions), and a wrestling captain, I have really stepped up into the role of being a leader, and constantly thinking about what kind of impact I would like to leave for younger students. I am taking various challenging classes this year (Advanced Theology, AP Statistics, AP Spanish, AP Biology, AP Literature), and as I am excited to push myself academically, I am still learning to juggle my time with so many responsibilities.
Last year was a new experience with everyone on campus, and dealing with Covid protocol, but it ended up being very successful, and I was able to have in-person classes all year. A highlight of last year would definitely be all the creative ways we were able to connect with each other on campus, despite the ongoing pandemic.
In my junior year I applied for a grant called the Haney fellowship which allows students to dive into a research topic of their choice, and I was thankfully admitted into the program, with the state of the pandemic constantly changing, when thinking of what I wanted to do research on, I had to consider various limitations. The focus on mental health due to the pandemic inspired me to focus on mental health and specifically the stigma around it. I had the opportunity to travel to Ghana and make a short film consisting of interviews and a focus on community to document the effects of the stigma around mental health in Ghanaian communities. This was a very rewarding experience, during my month-long trip I had the opportunity to help share the stories of people who had so much valuable experience, where they might not have gotten the chance. I believe this opportunity has aided my transition into adulthood and putting into perspective the day to day issues of people around the world. It has also opened my eyes, in something I potentially want to do in the future. In the coming few months, I am looking forward to being a leader on campus, finally finishing my college applications and seeing where I end up.
As graduation gets closer and closer everyday, I become more grateful for all the people who have led me to where I am today. I am especially grateful for graduate support, and all the connections I have made through Nativity. For all the younger guys, I want to leave with you, make sure to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, try new extracurriculars, become an active member of the NSW community and really hone your skills and keep in mind all the values Nativity teaches you because it will take you far. I still consider myself a Nativity Man, and practicing it when I was still there has helped me perfect it throughout my time here. It makes you stand out amongst your peers, wherever you go.