When, in 2015, Serwah Aboaqye was nominated by her company to attend a Power of You course, little did she dream that it would significantly change not only her life but also the lives of her husband and three children.
Three years on, Serwah and the children, aged 7, 6 and 5, are about to leave the UK for Ghana to join her husband who has recently launched a technical engineering academy for young people aged 16 upwards
“Sharon literally changed my life,” she says. “She spurred me on to set in motion a chain of events that would realise a lifelong dream.”
At the time of attending the course, Serwah’s husband, Emmanuel, was living in the UK, teaching aviation engineering in a government University Technical College in London. She was also in London, employed as a medical writer for an international organisation.
“He’d always dreamt that one day we could kick the dream of setting up on his own but we struggled to see how it was possible. After going on the Power of You course, I realised that I had it within me to encourage him to make it happen,” she says.
Emmanuel had always harbored an ambition to open an engineering school in Ghana. So when she suggested they took the plunge, he was all for it and started to look around for suitable premises.
Meanwhile, Serwah decided to move from the security of full time employment, and joined Astellas Pharma Inc, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, where she works on a contract basis. Her boss is happy for her to work from Ghana. “Technology makes it easy for me to do my job remotely,” she says, adding that when necessary she can return to Europe for meetings.
The school is now up and running, with backing from the Ghanaian government, and 20 students are already signed up. Not only does the school focus on the theory of engineering, it has the machinery on hand for students to practise on, which sets it apart from other similar institutions.
Serwah and the children are getting ready to join him in December. “We’re so excited,” she says.
The plan is that the family will stay in Ghana for five to 10 years, and set up a school in each of the 10 regions.
So what’s next on the agenda?
“At the moment, the engineering industry is very male-dominated, particularly in Ghana, with no female students coming forward. We want to change this and will be keeping in touch with Sharon for tips on how to encourage young women to enter this exciting industry,” reveals Serwah.
Power of You is run by UCan Training, founded by Sharon Jackson to focus on giving woman the confidence and self-belief to create the career and the lifestyle that they want.
UCan Training, creates bespoke coaching training programmes, both in-person and online, aimed at developing tomorrow’s leaders. For more information, contact Sharon@ucantraining.com