ALL FOUR: People – Boateng Akyeampong

Community, Progress

Born in Ghana, Boateng Akyeampong eventually came to the United States, where, after he earned his bachelor’s degree, he enrolled as a graduate student in the CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he found a passion for the city and the ways it worked.

“Learning doesn’t have to end because you’re 30 or 50 or whatever. People of all walks of life have the opportunity to better themselves. Always.”

How has the University of Colorado shaped your life?

More than anything, the University of Colorado broadened my horizons. After I finished my undergrad, I enrolled in grad school at CU Denver to study Transportation Engineering, but as I got more involved in clubs through the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the more time I spent exploring the city and getting to know other students, I discovered a passion for Construction and Engineering Management. Without the breadth of programming and the diversity of students at CU Denver, I may never have found that. And now, with everything I’ve learned, I’m really prepared to find a job here in Colorado where I can make a difference.

When people ask you about the University of Colorado, what do you tell them?

The coolest thing about CU Denver is its location. From campus, you can see the Pepsi Center and the whole skyline. You’re going to school in the heart of a bustling metropolis. You take public transportation in, and there’s this energy that you feel the whole way. It feels a lot like you’re on your way to a job; you’re headed into the city to make your mark, and you’re a part of the downtown Denver community, which is awesome. But on top of that, the University of Colorado gives you access to so many opportunities. The professors work downtown and can help connect you with the right people for your field of study, and you’ve got the opportunity to go on field trips to nearby sites. For me, that means easy access to real world construction sites.

What values did you learn at the University of Colorado that impact your life to this day?

Perseverance. I have never been very good at doing research papers. I’m much more of a “read the materials, do the homework, take the test” kind of guy. But I had to learn to be relentless to get my papers done, and my professors were very good at helping me. I learned not to give up, and it helped me almost immediately in my internship. My boss was very impressed with how determined I was not to give up, and it’s an intangible skill I can trace back to my experience at CU.

What do you find most inspiring about the University of Colorado?

Being on a downtown campus, you are exposed to all types of people and nontraditional students. And I find that inspiring because I know that no matter who I am or where I find myself, I have the opportunity to change my life for the better. Learning doesn’t have to end because you’re 30 or 50 or whatever. People of all walks of life have the opportunity to better themselves. Always.