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Derick Odei

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Born and raised in Ghana, I immigrated to the United States as a teenager. I graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S in Biology. After that, I earned a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College. In my professional journey, I’ve worked with various educational non-profits and community-based organizations such as YABC (Young Adult Borough Center) in Downtown Brooklyn, with the purpose of uplifting underserved populations.


Head of Education

Why Did You Create S&D?

I’ve always been a strong advocate for education, and I envision it as a tool for self-empowerment, promotion of equity and as a path for the advancement of various disadvantaged groups. As a result, I’m committed to providing various outlets and avenues that empower students of color in an effort to bridge the achievement gap. I believe that this can be achieved through the provision of scholarships, career development workshops and the administration of mentorship to college bound minority students.

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Why Is Scholarship Important?

I’m a strong believer that it takes a village to raise a child and as a result, I look to work collaboratively with my peers and various community stakeholders in pooling resources together to combat the disparity in academic achievement. This is rooted in my belief that one’s socioeconomic status should not be a limiting factor in determining their access to quality education.

What Do You Envision for S&D?

My friends and I founded Scholar & A Dream out of necessity to address the need for equity in access to quality education. All the founding members of this organization are people of color who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our shared experiences are reminiscent of the population we serve. This uniting factor has shaped our vision to empower and educate the next generation. Together, we will work to help our scholars bridge the wealth and achievement gaps, shattering glass ceilings for generations to come.

Access to quality education should be viewed as an inalienable right; one that shouldn’t be dependent on an individual’s socioeconomic status. Therefore, I find it my responsibility to do whatever I can in my power to fight for educational equality—for now and future generations to come.

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Meet the Rest of our Founders

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Warsame Yusuf

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