Monthly Archives: June 2012


Heritage Academy Girls Kick Butt

As the girls’ varsity soccer coach at Westtown School in Pennsylvania for many years before going to Ghana in 2004, I naturally selected and trained a girls’ team right after Heritage Academy opened, and the school became the first in the district to have a standing, well-equipped girls’ soccer team at a time when the standard practice was for basic schools to have a standing boys’ team but wait until the week before the inter-schools games festival to pull together a group of girls who played kick-and-run for two or three games and then went their separate ways until the next year!

It was difficult to find good competition during that first year but the other schools caught on quickly, and the quality of the girls’ tournament improved steadily both in soccer and other sports. Several of our stars including Sandra Arkoh-Arthur, Sarah Nyame, Gloria Nyame, Elizabeth Amoah, Janet Osei, Ruth Arkoh-Arthur, and Jennifer Mensah were invited to the zonal and regional tournaments in multiple years, with many of them going on to stardom on their high school soccer, volleyball and track teams. After winning the championship or finishing in second place in multiple sports over many years, we were finally knocked out in the semi-final match of the soccer tournament last fall. But we are not complaining; we will be back!

Outside of sports, Heritage girls continue to win many accolades each year in reading and spelling competitions, science and current affairs quizzes, and precision marching during independence day celebrations. I always smile when I think of Benedicta Bondzie winning the district spelling competition by one point over her older brother, Kelvin (the defending champion at the time), or Dorcas Abban beating out much older students to represent her new high school at a regional quiz competition last year. However, my favorite girl-kicking-butt story of all time involves Comfort Mensah, a 4th grader who petitioned her way into the Reading Club a year early and then proceeded to win the reading competition in the spring, win an endowed scholarship, perform in the graduation play, and win an award for academic excellence.



Empowered Girls, Stronger Communities.

In southern Ghana where we currently sponsor over 1200 students, village life is easier in those areas where the patriarchal power structure has negotiated a comfortable balance with the matrilineal family system that is in place. Consequently, these communities require educated, strong, and independent women in order to function  properly.

Hence in addition to giving girls access to the full range of educational and athletic opportunities available to them, we have been very intentional about developing their capacity as leaders by giving them chance to lead. Each position in our student government is occupied by a boy and a girl; hence, the girls’ and boys’ senior prefects are co-chairs of the student council. In club leadership where anyone can run for any position, the adult advisors encourage and sometimes recruit girls for various roles because we strongly feel that a good leadership team must include both girls and boys.

 By design, about half of the board members of the Schoerke Foundation as well as the faculty and staff of the Heritage schools are women. And so far, over sixty percent of our American grant recipients have been young women in the last two years of high school or the first two years of college. We are constantly working to nurture leadership, character, a strong voice, and excellence in all the young women who work with us both in the United States and in Ghana because we truly believe that “women hold up half the sky” (Kristoff & WuDunn).

I Want To Help 2

Dear Kwesi and Melissa,

I am a Westtown parent of an 8th grader, and I attended the orientation in the high school yesterday. I had the opportunity to hear Kwesi speak of the high school math program and hear the brief introduction to the Westtown connection with a school inGhana. I am thrilled that my daughter, Katie, will be continuing her education at Westtown. Katie started Westtown in PK, and she has thrived in its environment.

Interestingly enough I was having lunch with a former colleague today, and we were discussing how ready we are (or are not) for Christmas.  My former colleague told me that he and his wife were making a donation to a school inGhanathrough the Schoerke Foundation as their gift for their grown daughters.  I pressed the topic further to determine if it was the same school that I heard about at the Westtown event. I was extremely pleased and surprised to discover his donation will be going to your school. My former colleague’s name is Reid, and he became aware of the school through his friend, Roy Ortman, who is on the board of the Schoerke Foundation.

I am very interested in donating to the scholarship fund and hope that you can send me information.  Reid briefly explained that an $800.00 donation can support a child through junior high school, and I can name the scholarship in someone’s honor. Furthermore, I wonder if there may be volunteer opportunities available this summer.  My family will be traveling to Kenyain early June, might it be possible for me and my daughter to leaveKenyaand travel toGhanato volunteer for a brief period of time?

Kind regards and I look forward to your response,

Lisa DeLuca, PhD

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