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Osei Boateng (2018)

Osei Boateng

Osei Boateng graduated in 2018 from the College of Human Ecology with a major in Human Biology, Health and Society.  He is currently an Administrative Manager of the Public Health Sciences Department at Henry Ford Health in Detroit, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of OKB Hope Foundation, which combats healthcare inequity in low-income communities of Africa through education.

During Osei’s time as a Tradition fellow, he had the opportunity to serve with organizations locally in Ithaca, such as playing bass guitar in a local nursing home, as well as internationally in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Kumasi, Ghana.  Through the opportunities he had as a fellow, Osei discovered his passion for serving others and making a positive impact on people’s lives.  Osei has made this passion for service a foundation in his life, always asking himself, “are my decisions/actions going to improve the lives of other people or make the world a better place?” He learned how fulfilling serving others can be, and how people are drawn to those who do.  Osei attributes the success of his undergraduate trips and experiences to collaborating alongside other fellows who shared this passion for improving people’s lives, as well as how the ability to hear other unique perspectives from people made it easier for the team to address any challenges that arose.  He has brought this passion and skill set forward with him to much success when working with people both in his work and his foundation.

One of the highlights of Osei’s experience as a Tradition fellow was, through program awarded grants, being able to begin his work in healthcare education in Ghana.  In 2017, Osei partnered with physicians and medical students to serve over 250 Ghanian families by providing them with whole health assessments and free consultations.  And in 2018, Osei used program funding to provide a potable water source to a Nweneso community who previously had a high incidence of water-borne disease.  These humbling and fulfilling experiences ignited Osei’s passion for serving underserved rural communities in Ghana, leading him to found the OKB Hope Foundation and pursuing his master’s in health administration.  His foundation has served over 1000 individuals in 11 communities, and has most recently launched the Hope Health Van which brings healthcare to the doorstep of rural and underserved Ghanaians. Since launching in February 2022, this service alone has reached over 650 rural Ghanaians. Osei is especially proud of the work his foundation has done organizing service-learning trips for volunteers and learners who are passionate about serving the vulnerable and the underserved population. He has worked with many Cornell Tradition fellows by providing them with the opportunity to shadow physicians, participate in our health screenings, and immerse themselves in the Ghanaian culture.

When asked what advice he has for current Tradition fellows, Osei encouraged them “to connect with each other. The beauty of the Cornell Tradition fellowship is the diversity of students they select. Every fellow has a unique background but one common goal – to serve humanity. Therefore I urge students to use their colleagues as a resource whether bouncing ideas off each other or working together to address a challenge.”  He also advises current fellows to “know their “WHY” - the reason why they are participating in a service-learning trip or volunteering. Their “WHY” will determine their passion, and work they put into it. Once you know your “WHY” you will love what you are doing rather than just meeting the requirements.”

Osei Boateng and Fellows