January 03, 2022
Alumni Spotlight: Anna Gifty Opoku-Ageyman ’14
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW
After leaving GCS in 2014 you went to UMBC, why did you choose math and economics as a field of study and was it your first choice.
Initially, I went to College Park. Majored in business but after three weeks I realized that I did not like it because they were preparing me for a career as a consultant, so I pivoted to UMBC. I was lost and would come every single day with a new college plan. I decided to major in biology because that is what Ghanaian immigrants’ children do, right? Medicine, law, and engineering. It should have been obvious that biology was not for me because I loved my math classes, my politics classes etc., so it took a while for me to get to math and economics.
What teachers influenced your fight for equity and social justice?
Miss Banker was such an inclusive mentor and a critical teacher in my life. She really encouraged inclusive excellence and never made me feel like I was fundamentally different because I was a Black woman in this White space. My humanities teachers challenged me to think deeper about issues that were affecting our world and how I could articulate my argument clearly so people could learn from it. Integrative was also important to me because it is where I formed my racial identity through my research.
Why did you co-find the Sadie Collective to address that pipeline for black women in economics, finance, data science, policy, and it is global at this point.
The Sadie Collective grew out of our deep passion in ensuring that our friends had access to resources and networks. I tried to find black women economists who I identify with but I could not find any. Within four months we got a team of seven Black women, and we put on the very first conference for Black women in economics and related fields. We were in Forbes, on NPR, and now we have more than 1,000 black women across the country and across different global regions.
What advice do you have for the young women that walk through this hallway?
It is never too early to make a change. If you feel passionate about something, do it. I always say, ask for forgiveness not for permission. That is how I moved during my time here at GCS and how I move now because you never know who you are going to impact. Move with good faith and make sure that you are authentic.