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Study Abroad Profile: Erin Walker

Erin Walker with volunteers from The Akumanyi FoundationProgram: The Akumanyi Foundation
Location: Achiase, Ghana
Rank: Junior
Major: Health Sciences

"I chose to volunteer abroad with the Akumanyi Foundation because of the impact the co-founders intended to make on the community: to implement sustainable projects. Ever since traveling to Central America in high school, I knew I had to reach other parts of the world and serve them in a meaningful way. And I wanted to do such while becoming a more rounded global citizen by experiencing cultures other than my own. I have a huge heart for volunteering in developing countries, and I desired to do just that with Ohio State. The Akumanyi Foundation holds values that I hold as well- passion, knowledge, integrity, relationships, teamwork and dedication. This organization was a perfect fit for me to serve through. The team was able to cultivate each of these values to connect and work with locals in Achiase, Ghana.

My experience abroad is definitely one of the highlights of my undergraduate experience at Ohio State. I feel that it allowed me to become a global citizen, which is an important aspect of college education. The main takeaway I have from the trip, however, is that it guided me in my decision of pursuing global public health after graduation. I realized just how much I truly loved what I was doing there, and I would like nothing more than to be a part of international projects like that for the rest of my life.

rin Walker traveled abroad to Ghana with The Akumanyi Foundation

My favorite memory from the trip actually took place on the last night we were there. It was one of the volunteers' birthday, and we spent the entire evening simultaneously celebrating her birthday as well as our time there. Earlier that day, all of the volunteers had become overwhelmed with emotions about leaving and missing everybody at the children's home, but that evening was filled with nothing but pure joy, completely turning the mood around. All the children, staff members and volunteers enjoyed cake, music, laughter and community the whole night. It was the perfect end to a beautiful, life-changing trip."