Margaret Appiadu Antwi
Margaret Appiadu Antwi remembers playing in piles of trash and drinking dirty water during her childhood. Growing up in the poor African nation of Ghana, the sanitary conditions were often fodder for a public health official's nightmare.
But her life changed dramatically at the age of 12, when she and her family moved to America – first to the Bronx and then to New Haven. She and her sister learned English from their mother while still in Ghana, but Antwi overcame her language barriers and education challenges to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in public health at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU).
"My whole life has been challenging, but if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want."
Antwi she started working as a home health aide at 14, and after high school, attended Staten Island College to study nursing. She transferred to SCSU and works at the Institute of Professional Practice in North Haven. After taking a class with Dr. Marian Evans, Antwi switched her major from nursing to public health.
She said the department is very student-oriented, and three teachers have gone above and beyond to support her: Evans, John Nwangwu and Sandra Bulmer.
Recently, she served as an intern with Bulmer at the Student Health and Wellness Center. She then became a member of the Society for Public Health Education and was chosen for the 21st Century Scholarship, which enabled her to attend the 2014 Health Education Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C.
"My whole life has been challenging," she said, "but if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want. I want to travel and go to Third World countries to educate people on basic health needs – that's my dream.”Return to Site