By Emily Reed
Senior Claudia Bonney Amamoo made it a goal to be actively involved during her time as a student at UM.
Amamoo said when deciding where she would attend college, she chose the University of Montevallo because she believed she belonged. “I was vastly impressed by the welcoming staff and the serene environment,” Amamoo said. “A significant highlight of my journey at Montevallo includes making lifelong friends, building an extensive network of alumni and faculty and developing skills in and out of the classroom.”
“My time at the University has encouraged me to become more active, conscientious and knowledgeable,” Amamoo said. “Many of these qualities have been fostered through my interactions with the faculty, staff and fellow students.”
Amamoo, originally from Accra, Ghana, is double-majoring in political science and Spanish. She serves as president of the Multicultural Student Organization, vice president of the Future Alumni of Montevallo (FAM), a resident assistant, a McNair Scholar and a Minorities Achieving Dreams of Excellence (M.A.D.E.) ambassador.
M.A.D.E. is a program dedicated to helping minority students navigate their college journey by providing them with resources. “M.A.D.E. provides a supportive environment for minority students to build a community of students, faculty and staff committed to their success,” Amamoo explained. She was one of the first students to be involved with the program and was instrumental in its establishment.
“I got involved with M.A.D.E. through networking with Jason Perry, student diversity recruitment and retention coordinator,” Amamoo said. “I had previously worked with him as a member of the Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow organization which is now part of FAM, and as the vice president for the Black Student Union.
Since joining M.A.D.E. as an ambassador, I have served on the social media committee and created content that expresses the spirit and mission of the program.” She has also participated in early orientation by speaking on the student panel and participating in Mentor Match Day where ambassadors are paired with new mentees in the program.
M.A.D.E. offers a two-day early orientation, which allows students an opportunity to move into their residence hall early, engage in interactive activities and get acclimated to a new environment. In addition, M.A.D.E. also offers monthly educational meetings, coaching, networking opportunities and scholarships for its students and ambassadors.
Amamoo has also served in many roles in other organizations on campus including the Environmental Club, Hispanic Student Organization, Falcon Scholars, SGA and tutor at the Learning Enrichment Center.
Most days, Amamoo spends her time practicing yoga in the mornings before heading to her foreign language senior seminar followed by her African politics and United Nations classes.
“After classes, I either prepare for tutoring sessions at the Learning Enrichment Center or head to the Caf,” Amamoo said. “I usually end my day by studying for the LSAT and GRE or editing content for social media.”
Amamoo had initially planned to visit Ghana in 2020 to see her family members whom she has not seen in six years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic halted her plans to return, and she hopes to visit in the next two years. “There have been significant developments in the nation since I last visited in 2014,” she said. “Mainly, I want to tour Kakum National Park, which has a forest canopy, and the Elmina Castle.”
Amamoo said she hopes to apply her skills and experiences developed at UM to eventually becoming an immigration lawyer and a legal officer for the United Nations.