Flash Forward

Divine Asante

On His Way

It took a 10,000-mile round-trip journey and four years of living in a poor village in Ghana (Africa) for New York native Divine Asante to begin transforming his life. Now a freshman aeronautics major and Oscar Ritchie Scholar, he aspires to be a professional airline pilot.

But when he was 11 years old, his parents sent him to Ghana to live with his grandparents because of his behavioral problems.

“My parents were kind of tired of me,” Asante says. “They wanted me to do better, so they decided I should go to Africa because things are stricter there compared to America. It was a good experience overall. I got to learn more about my culture, and I met some great people and made some great memories. I learned more about myself, and I changed and grew as a person. I became a little more humble; I appreciate things a little more.”

Life in Ghana was eye-opening, Asante says. Not only was the food and environment quite different (he had encounters with snakes, scorpions and lions), but school was a lot stricter than in America.

“If you don’t do your homework and you end up turning it in late or not at all, the teachers will whip you,” he says. “They take out their cane and they just beat you. It was scary, especially for someone like me who is not used to that kind of discipline.”

Asante says he came to Kent State because it was affordable and the right distance from his parents’ current home in Cincinnati—not too near and not too far.

Though he struggles, like most freshmen do, with the adjustments to college life (workload, time management, sleep deprivation), he says his experience has been pretty good so far. When he’s not studying, he enjoys playing basketball, working out at the Tri-Rec Center, participating in Bible studies with NEO Impact and pursuing his passions in art, drawing and painting.

“My favorite class so far is psychology,” Asante says, “because of how the human brain works—and human behavior is pretty interesting.”

—April McClellan-Copeland

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POSTED: Monday, December 14, 2020 - 1:54pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 11:47pm