Stringer a bringer to Caz
Local college grad is sending African farm manager to college
By Willie Kiernan
Meghan Stringer's search is finally over. After pitching her idea and being turned down by several area colleges, the Hamilton College graduate approached Dr. Mark Tierno of Cazenovia College with her plan to bring an agricultural engineer from Ghana to America for four years of college study. The man has never been to high school or taken an SAT exam, but Stringer is confident that he can succeed.
"Living in the backcountry of Ghana, Yao Foli is a bright light working to lift his people out of poverty," Stringer said. "He is tirelessly committed to his country and making a difference in the lives of others."
President Tierno, with an unprecedented exception of the rules of acceptance, has awarded Foli a half-tuition scholarship in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to environmental protection in Africa. Stringer, who worked with Foli in Ghana her junior year as an intern, has become his educational advocate and is committed to helping raise the necessary tuition needed for a liberal arts degree. Foli will arrive in Cazenovia this fall as a member of the Class of 2011.
"He has a promising future as an environmental activist in West Africa and his dream is to serve peasant farmers and their families in Ghana by teaching sustainable agricultural skills that will secure rapidly depleting soils, protect wildlife, and sustain farmers' livelihood for generations to come," Stringer said.
Stringer met Foli at XOFA, an eco-village on the shores of Lake Volta, during her semester abroad from Hamilton College last spring. XOFA's mission is to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility and Foli is their manager and community leader. She spent a total of one month at XOFA immersed in the organization and getting to know the communities they serve.