Student awarded for essay on volunteer experiences

By Rebecca Esparza, ’99 BBA,’04 MBA

Volunteering with WGC

Susana Deku (from left) helps Sr. Neomi Hayes, CCVI, co-founder of Women’s Global Connection, and UIW graduate student Elaine Talarski to sell baskets during the 2009 Thanksgiving weekend at the Peace Center in San Antonio to raise money to help women in Zambia and Tanzania.

Susana Deku believes it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.

“Just give a listening ear and a little bit of your time,” she said. “You will make a lot of difference in someone else’s life and your own.”

Born and raised in The Republic of Ghana in West Africa, Deku will graduate with a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word in December.

She believes fervently in a life of service to others, so when she’s not attending school, Deku is volunteering.

“Each one of us is in this world for a purpose. As much as we are pursuing our goals that are dear to us, we also have to extend a hand to those that need our help,” she said. “It comes back as blessings in so many ways, we cannot even imagine.”

Recently, her volunteer service paid off in a new way, with an award of $1,000 from the National Society of Leadership and Success, affiliated with the UIW chapter. Her essay, titled “Making the World a Better Place,” was awarded first place and received national recognition.

The essay chronicles her experiences of volunteer service both to the local community and in Ghana.

“Every month, members are asked to submit an individual essay indicating what they have been able to achieve beyond member-sponsored activities on their university campus across the country,” Deku said.

She is a longtime volunteer with the Women’s Global Connection, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, where she assists with research and sales of baskets that support women in Africa.

Susana Deku

“The women are empowered when they are able to start a project on their own,” she said.

Other projects include her work for the Medina Children’s Home and volunteering at the Village at Incarnate Word retirement home.

Her latest project is selling bags made with kente, a traditional cloth in Ghana, that will help support three children living with a foster family in that country.

“The foster family is on retirement and does not have the income to take care of these three kids. These children need proper nutrition, health care and education.”

Her generous nature and giving spirit are an inspiration to others.

“I derive my innermost satisfaction and peace when I engage in these activities. I am satisfied when I put a smile on the face of other people who need it. I do not even think about the time I put into it because it does not matter to me.”

Read Susana Deku’s essay online at: