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GSTS Alumni Association in North America raises funds for alma mater

Falls Church, VA–The week of 17th July 2017 to 23rd July 2017 was a busy one for the GSTS Alumni Association (GAA) of North America. It started off with official tours of US schools for the visiting Headmaster, and ended with fun at the biggest fundraising event of the Association to date on 22nd July, 2017 at Falls Church, VA. The event brought in a net of about $25,000 for projects at GSTS.

The current Headmaster of GSTS,Mr. Samuel K. Essel, whose visit to the US was facilitated by the GAA-North America, began his week with a tour of Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts on 18th July, 2017.

GSTS and the Worcester Technical High School share a lot of similarities in that both schools offer typical academic subjects as well as traditional technical subjects, such as woodworking, auto mechanics, and metal work. Worcester Technical High School, however, offers traditional technical programs and newer technical programs such as robotics, electronics, and biotechnology. The visit allowed the GSTS Headmaster to learn about how these new programs are run, and to share ideas with his US colleagues.

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Mr Essel was joinedon his Worcester school tour by the following alumni of GSTS (also called Giants): Giant Tony Ashon’81-General Secretary of GAA-North America, Giant Walter Kwami and Giant Tetteh Abbeyquaye’89 PhD. Assistant Principal of Worcester Technical High Ms. Michelle Phenix led the tour for the group.

GSTS Alumni

Photo: Assistant Principal Ms. Michelle Phenixsharing a thought with Headmaster of GSTS Mr. Samuel Essel during the tour of Worcester Technical High School

Mr. Essel then travelled to New York City to visit three more schools:Brooklyn Technical High School, Park Slope Middle School and the Brooklyn School of Arts.

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There, he met with Mr. John T. Shea, CEO – Division of School Facilities-NYCDOE to share ideas on school maintenance, and the Executives of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundationto discuss school-alumni relations. Giant PhanuelMarkin ’76, Deputy Director of School Facilities, NYCDOE, and Giant Anthony Ashonaccompanied Mr. Essel on his New York tour.

GSTS Alumni

Photo (L to R) – Giant Anthony Ashon’81, Mr. John T. Shea, CEO – Division of School Facilities-NYCDOE, Mr. Samuel Essel and Giant PhanuelMarkin’76 Deputy Director of Facilities, DOE, NYCDOE visiting New York School facilities.

The highpoint of his visit was joining the Giants in North America for their 10th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner Dance and Convention in Falls Church, Virginia on 22nd July 2017, in what would be their most successful fundraising event to date.

The event also launched the beginning of GAA-North America Chapter’s year-long fundraising campaign to raise funds for sanitation upgrade projects at the school in Takoradi, Ghana.

The Headmaster participated in the North America Chapter’s General Meeting, answering questions about the school from Giants who had no shortage of questions for the Headmaster. Giants interviewed after the meeting were of the opinion that the Headmaster’s visit was timely and very useful to the Association.

GSTS Alumni

Photo: Group picture of Giants after General Meeting

Addressing Giants and dinner attendees later at the Fundraising Dinner, the Headmasterthanked the GAA, Giants and various Year Groups that continue to support the school in several ways. He thanked the Association for making his trip possible.

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Mr. Essel said: “The arranged visits to some selected high schools in the US have brought to the fore some experiences that will be utilized in the running of GSTS”.He presented a citation to the GSTS Alumni Association of North America for their numerous contributions to the School over these 10 years. 

Giant Emmanuel (Lee) Idun PhD ’80 and ’82 –President of the GSTS Alumni Association of North America, received the citation and thanked the headmaster on behalf of the Association.

GSTS Alumni

Photo: Giant and Mrs. HenryEssilfie ’66, Giant and Mrs. Emmanuel (Lee) Idun ’80’82 – President of the GSTS Alumni Association of North America and Mr. Samuel Essel – Headmaster of GSTS at the Fundraising Dinner.

Giant Professor Yaw Yeboah PhD, ’69 and ’71, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GAA-North America applauded the increased participation of alumni, saying that: “If we have a lot more people participating always, then no matter how small an amount they give, it could become a big figure when put together in the end.”

The BOT Chairman who has taught and conducted research at prestigious universities through the US is famed for becoming the first person to receive four separate degrees in four years from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1975 after he had won a scholarship upon completing his studies at GSTS in 1971.

GSTS Alumni

Photo: (L to R) Giant Commodore Steve Obimpeh ’61 (Rtd), Giant Prof. Yaw Yeboah PhD’69 and ’71 and Giant Charles Nkrumah Ofori ’73

The Fundraising dinner chaired by Giant Henry Essilfie ’66 attracted high profile alumni of the school from Ghana including Special Guest, Commodore Steve Obimpeh’61 (Rtd), former Navy Commander and Minister for Health and Agriculture, and Wing Commander William K. Kekrebesi’71 and ’73 (Rtd), President of the global GSTS Alumni Association (GAA).

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Money raised at the dinner event and through the longer-term fundraising campaign will pay for critical infrastructure upgrades at GSTS, such as the following:

  • sanitation facility reconstruction;
  • dormitory restoration;
  • the Solar Electricity Project, and
  • laboratory and workshop modernization.

GSTS is located in the coastal city of Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana. As a high school known for science and engineering, this educational gem is critical to the economic, scientific, and technological future of Ghana.

The North American Chapter of the GSTS Alumni Association (GAA) has supported the school over its ten years. Many of its members currently makethe United States their home. Some own businesses, while others can be found working as professionals in various institutions across the US and Canada such as NASA, hospitals, engineering firms, and universities.

The fundraising event was sponsored by individual alumni and alumni-owned businesses such as KUMI CONSTRUCTIONS MANAGEMENT CORP, HORIZON PEDIATRIC INC, and SMOKE KING.

For more information about the GSTS Alumni Association of North America or to make a donation, please visit:http://www.gstsnorthamerica.com, or contact Tony Ashon at gstsnoamerica@gmail.com.

The mission of the GSTS Alumni Association is to foster growth, academic and infrastructure development, as well as student motivation at our alma mater, the Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) in Takoradi. We are a US-based 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization organized solely for charitable purposes.

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