We open the 2012-2013 academic year’s Student Spotlight highlighting a very special EDP scholar. With great sorrow, but yet, with great joy, the Educational Development Program honors the late Kofi B. Genfi, who died on June 21, 2012, in a swimming accident in Lake Erie, Dunkirk, New York.
Simply said, Kofi was an amazing person. There are so many (perhaps almost too many) positive adjectives we can use to describe him. First and foremost, he was totally dedicated to being successful. He was a diligent student who was also hard-working, involved, persistent, friendly, and determined to achieve his goals.
He came to Fredonia in fall 2008, from Bronx, New York. Kofi was born in the United States, but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in the small, rural village of Kumasi in Ghana, Africa. In his admission’s application essay he stated: “Ghana is where I learned to be respectful and strive for excellence.” He returned to the United States when he was sixteen with the realization “that education here provides limitless opportunities if you are determined to pursue your goal. My goal is to be literate and become successful in the future so that I can lift my family from its deteriorating background to a superlative one.”
When he enrolled in high school at the Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, he quickly stood out, earning excellent grades and providing service and strong leadership to the school and community. He was the president of the school government and also elected the senior class representative to the community. His guidance counselor noted his natural drive for success and his motivation to go the extra mile to ensure achieving his goals, all the while being the only student who dressed-for-success in a three-piece suit every day!
Needless to say, once he arrived in Fredonia (and yes, in a suit and tie) he pursued that goal with vigor and enthusiasm. He became involved both in and out of the classroom. Kofi was a Math-Middle Childhood Certification major and in addition to being an EDP student, he was also in the CSTEP Program (Collegiate Science and Technology Program). He was an EDP study hall proctor, served as a resident assistant in Igoe Hall from 2009-2010, and was a member of the Math Club. He also worked at Wal-Mart in Fredonia as a management trainee.
Although he faced many hurdles during his 22 years of life, he was always smiling and engaging. He certainly left his “handprint” on our lives. For the members of the Fredonia family who knew him, we feel privileged and grateful for his presence in our lives. For those who never met him, you missed an opportunity to witness triumph in the making and to experience a beaming grin that never quit. Kofi is in our collective heart and we will always remember him.