Fashion School Senior Inducted into KSU Women's Center Sage Project Class of 2019

Yayra Tamakloe at the 2019 BFA CritiquesFor some, certain hardships and tragedies may be too hard to overcome, but for others like Kent Fashion School student Yayra Tamakloe, the difficult experiences only make them stronger.

Senior design major, Yayra Tamakloe, was recently named as one of the honorees inducted into the Kent State Women's Center Sage Project 2019 Class. The Sage Project recognizes women-identifying students who have overcome diversity to shape their university experience and shines a light on students who have diverse experiences and backgrounds and who have overcome barriers in their life. Through this project, the Women's Center hopes to inspire others and showcase stories of personal strength, courage, growth and perseverance. 

Joined by a class of nine other students, Tamakloe was nominated by Fashion School associate professor and faculty director for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, Dr. Tameka Ellington, by fashion academic advisor, Tasha Slay, and by Dr. Janice Byrd, assistant professor in the counselor education and supervision program for her hardworking and positive demeanor.

Tamakloe has persevered despite facing sudden hardships and tragedy. About two years ago while she was a sophomore, she suffered a devastating loss. Tamakloe learned that her father had gotten sick, so she made the difficult decision to take a year off school and head back to her home in Ghana to help her mother take care of her father. Before she was able to make it home, she learned that her father had passed away. In the midst of this tragedy, she was also dealing with financial difficulty and was working in a nursing home until the early morning hours before class. In spite of these hardships, she has been able to excel in school and is active in student government and many other social activities across campus. 

"Yayra is extremely talented.  She has competed in international competitions in fashion and also has talent in theater and she participates in many of the productions put on by the African Community Theater on campus.  Yayra is a self-starter and holds various leadership positions on campus.  I believe that Yayra exemplifies what the Sage Project stands for. She is an example of how to maintain poise and positivity in the midst of unfortunate circumstances. Added Dr. Ellington,  "Yayra is an amazing individual. She is extremely talented, hard-working, tenacious and just a wonderful person to be around. I am extremely proud of her and so honored that she’s allowed me to be a part of her life.

Tamakloe is honored to be inducted into the prestigious Sage Project. "Being inducted as a SAGE has been humbling and an honor. We go through life sometimes forgetting that people watch us; everything we do is noticed. For three different people to have nominated me for this award because they believed I am worth, it really humbles me. It also makes me know that my hard work, determination and thirst for growth is noticed," express Tamakloe. " I want to create opportunities for others and when it gets hard, I want to use my life as a testimony to show what is possible when you are dedicated to succeed. I am truly grateful for this honor, but I know it took a village for me to get to this point in my life so I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in that process.”

The Sage Project was named because sage means wisdom, renewal, harmony and growth, and in Native American culture, the herb is used for healing and to cleanse the body and mind of negativity. Said Slay, "In spite of all of the roadblocks she's faced, Yayra always maintains a positive attitude and has a smile on her face.  In my eyes, she has used the obstacles she has faced to grow stronger and propel her towards her goals. I have personally been inspired by her strength."

To learn more about the Sage Project, visit the Women's Center website


POSTED: Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 9:19pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 3:09pm