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Kojo Osafo ’17

Kojo Osafo ’17 excelled in his science classes at Walter Payton High School in Chicago, which prompted his counselors to recommend he check out Lake Forest College. A native of Ghana, Osafo realized he wanted to stay fairly close to his family in the Chicago area. He came up to Lake Forest to attend an Open House and discovered he liked the campus, the nearby beach, and the proximity to Chicago.

What drew you to Lake Forest College?
“My high school had only about 1,000 students so we were close to our teachers. I wanted a similar environment in college. When I took my tour of campus, I really liked the neighborhood a lot. My father is a doctor in Ghana, I was good at science, so this seemed like a good place to do that.”
Have you had experiences here—besides your classes—that have helped prepare you for your future?
“I spent a semester in New Zealand. It was so incredible to be completely surrounded by nature. I remember seeing the Kauri trees—the third tallest in the world. They were massive. Being in New Zealand surrounded by nature was basically like heaven for a biology major. I also got to do research as a Richter scholar with Professor Kirk in her lab. It was the summer after my freshman year and I was working with a couple of juniors at the time. I worked in Professor Kirk’s lab the following summer, too. I also tried a lot of clubs and organizations in my first three years. I was just trying to see what I liked.”
What do you do in your free time?
“I took a creative writing class and sometimes, out of the blue, I like to write sonnets. For the class, we were supposed to write there or four and I end up writing, like, 20. I also write short stories in my free time. And I play sports—basketball, soccer, any sport, really. Staying active is a big thing for me.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“I hope to get a position as a lab or research assistant, but I’m also interested in computer science. I’d like to learn programming languages. I might try to combine biology and computer science. I’m still working on trying to figure that out.”
Any advice for new students?
“Have an open perspective. Try a lot of different things. You never know what you’re going to learn, who you’re going to meet, and how it’ll enrich your college experience.”
Parting words?
“Just be open and take things as they come.”

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