Posted May 25, 2023

Temple Made for serving his community: Temple senior is on a mission to end gun violence

Temple senior Andrew Ankamah uses his passion for community service to reduce gun violence.

Andrew Ankamah holding a sign that says ending gun violence.
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito

Name: Andrew Ankamah 
Degree: BA, political science with an Africology and African American studies minor 
College: College of Liberal Arts 
Hometown: North Brunswick, New Jersey  
Graduation Year: 2023 

Big Future: Ending gun violence.

Why Temple: During a visit to Temple’s campus in his final year of high school, Andrew was immediately struck by the vibrant and diverse community it offered. He recognized that this diversity would provide him with a valuable opportunity to establish a wide network of friends, connecting with individuals from various backgrounds on campus. Andrew also perceived the multicultural environment as a gateway to meeting people from around the globe, mirroring the diverse population of his hometown in New Jersey. 

Standout work-study job: Andrew landed a work-study position with the University Community Collaborative, hosted through the POPPYN program. This program focuses on educating Philadelphia youth about community issues and empowering them to address these challenges. As a leadership coordinator within the program, Andrew honed his public speaking and active listening abilities through meaningful interactions with elementary school students. It was a touching experience for him. 

Philly life: Attending a school situated in a metropolitan area like Temple also provided Andrew with countless opportunities to connect with people from various backgrounds. He even had the chance to host community meetings in the esteemed City Hall. In addition, he thoroughly enjoyed the convenience of exploring the city with his friends during weekends, embarking on visits to Penn's Landing, attending events, savoring multicultural eateries along the Delaware River, and dedicating time to shopping in the vibrant Philadelphia Fashion District on Market Street.

Temple Made moment: Andrew’s transformational moment came when he organized a protest against gun violence at Temple in December 2021. Students and community members came together at the Bell Tower to brainstorm ideas for combatting issues related to gun violence. The strong turnout at the Bell Tower sparked Andrew’s sense of activism and further ignited his passion for community service. He eventually expanded his organization, The Accountability Initiative, on Temple’s campus, which raises awareness of gun violence in communities.

Hootable: “My journey to get to and through Temple was one of perseverance. Once I stepped foot on campus, I encountered academic challenges, work responsibilities, a calling to engage in activism, and a desire to involve myself in the community. All of these things tested my resolve as I pursued my degree. But I faced each hurdle head-on, refusing to let them slow down my progress. I know life will always throw challenges at me, but these last four years have proven that I will persevere and conquer my goals no matter what.”