As a young girl who dreamed of a STEM career, Gladys Ekyem-Andoh was one of many children who wished for a guiding hand to navigate the world of Technology and came up short. Intrigued by the prospects of the Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) Challenge, Gladys was excited to use her analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills to create innovative, workable, and sustainable solutions.
The GSTEP program reaches out to Junior High School (JHS) children and teachers especially in less endowed communities and supports them to develop practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) products for their communities. As a social development enthusiast, committed to creating opportunities for young people, Gladys was happy to see children from marginalized communities being included in a program that was aimed at improving livelihoods for all through STEM.
The 2022 GSTEP Mentorship program was organized from October to November 2022. Within these two months, Gladys recalled how grueling and fulfilling the challenge was. She recounted having to take time off work to ensure her team met and completed their assigned tasks for the week. She indicated that she had taken it upon herself to ensure that her team was given top priority and she was committed towards nurturing them. She believes that directing her efforts and ensuring the team’s needs took precedence was the driving force for her team’s performance in the GSTEP Challenge.
Being a GSTEP mentor has been an eye opener for Gladys as she found her young team’s commitment to excellence, exceptional. She has been inspired by her team’s dedication to tasks, their understanding, and contribution to the project as well as their overall brilliance. Their dedication and zeal has motivated her to get back on aspects of her life she had lost sight of. She shared, “I must admit that the program has rekindled my passion and drive to see that those projects I had put on hold get completed, regardless of limitations. As a mentor, I had to take initiative and motivate the team to ensure the successful completion of our project. Additionally, I learned the willingness to make necessary sacrifices to advance a good cause.”
Gladys hopes the GSTEP program is here to stay. She believes this is a groundbreaking initiative that Ghana should embrace. She looks forward to continuing to bring her expertise to the program and be part of the development of innovative solutions. Gladys Ekyem-Andoh is a skilled data analyst, researcher and social development enthusiast and has a bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Gladys was awarded the Overall Best Mentor at the recently ended 2022 GSTEP Awards Ceremony.