Esther Appiah ’21 was selected to travel to Côte d’Ivoire in January 2022 through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) program. The ETA program places Fulbright grant recipients in classrooms in foreign countries to provide assistance to local English teachers while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.
Appiah earned a B.A. in international studies with a concentration in African studies and minor in religious studies with a specialization in African religions. She was involved in The African Students Association (TASA) and Do Shakara, the African dance team, during her time at Trinity. “I’m all about Africa; my goal is to visit all 54 countries in the continent. I already visited six, thanks to Trinity,” said Appiah, a native of Ghana. “My love for and desire to make change in Africa is so real because I had to leave to find the opportunities that I have here, so I want to provide those opportunities without the need for students to depart from home in order to receive quality education.”
Equitable education is one of Appiah’s passions. She has taught middle school students from underrepresented communities at Breakthrough Cincinnati, a summer program in Ohio, and sixth-grade English in South Africa with a program called One Heart Source. She also spent one semester studying away in Ghana and another in Senegal.
Appiah said that her ultimate career goal is to start a school system that focuses on restorative education, mindfulness, healing trauma, and teaching students how to identify and reconcile their triggers. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for students in sub-Saharan Africa geared toward healing trauma, community building, and college readiness. I want to make more of these programs available on the continent,” she said.
Anne Lundberg, Trinity’s director of fellowships and adviser for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, noted, “Esther was a strong candidate due to her teaching experience, her study-abroad experiences in Ghana and Senegal, and her interests in ethnicity and cross-cultural education. … She speaks Akan and French, along with English, and will thrive in a multilingual country like Côte d’Ivoire. In short, Esther fits the Fulbright profile of a cultural ambassador for the U.S. perfectly.”