Maa Efia Nyarkoa Ampiaw may only be 19, but she knows the career she wants. She has always been interested in cars and wants to become an auto mechanic.
Ampiaw grew up in Ghana and is the youngest in her family. Her mother moved to the United States before her. She stayed behind, living with her grandmother and siblings. She came to the United States from Ghana in August 2017 to further her education. She currently lives in Newark with her mother and grandfather. She said her siblings plan to make the move to the United States as well, but not right now.
Ampiaw was an honor roll student at Seven Great Princes Academy High School in Ghana, where she studied business and English. She also played soccer.
Even though Ampiaw took English classes at her high school in Ghana, she felt she needed additional help with the language after moving to the United States. Her uncle’s friend introduced her to New Community and she enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class at the Adult Learning Center.
Because of her past experience, she enrolled in the Level 2 class, taught by Anthony Forte. He said she is a wonderful young person to have in class.
“She’s very steadfast,” Forte said. “She sits in front of class and helps me out.”
Ampiaw enjoyed the ESOL class.
“Everybody contributes and makes class lively,” she said. “We help each other in class. It makes class interesting.”
She also was glad to have Forte as her instructor.
“He’s a very nice person,” Ampiaw said. “He teaches so you understand. You really understand what he’s teaching.”
Since completing the ESOL class, Ampiaw has started taking Adult Basic Education courses at the Adult Learning Center to prepare to take the High School Equivalency Test.
She’s keeping up her car skills while she continues her education. Her grandfather has a car that she works on in her spare time.
“I look and I can fix some things by myself,” she said.
With a strong foundation, Ampiaw has a bright future ahead of her.
“Her diligence, dedication, intelligence and wit indicate success in fulfilling her goal — to study automotive engineering,” Forte said.