Championing Change: An Alumna’s Advocacy for an Equitable World

Elevating the voices of the marginalized

Maame“I have always believed that God orchestrates and ordains my steps,” Maame (Yankah) Boateng '13, Esq shares. From her childhood in Ghana to the legal advocacy she currently engages in as an attorney, it’s clear that God has directed her path and used her experiences to shape her legacy.

Growing up in Ghana, Maame quickly developed a passion for pursuing an equitable world. Her Christian upbringing emphasized the importance of a life founded on God’s love – and extending that love to all of his creation. These values began to shape her heartbeat for economic development.

When Maame was fifteen, she spent her summer at Buduburam camp, a refugee campsite in the central region of Ghana for those who had fled the Liberian war. It was here that her desire to advocate for others was nurtured and inspired by the example of a teacher who caught her attention.

“This teacher believed and taught the children that true and lasting change would never come solely through governmental change,” Maame remembers. “She believed that our society was responsible for realizing a more desirable and equitable world for one another.” 

This realization ignited the conviction in Maame’s heart to help underprivileged and underserved communities realize it for themselves. This passion eventually brought her to Eastern University.

“I was searching for an institution that would not only mold my social consciousness, but my actions as well,” Maame reflects. “The integration of Eastern’s mission of Faith, Reason, and Justice with my experiences at Eastern not only instilled in me high ethical and moral standards, but it also taught me how to apply these values to my daily interactions as an economic development practitioner.”

During her time at Eastern, Maame served as a Youth Ambassador for Plan International USA, advocated for the marginalized Kayayo women in Ghana, and spoke at the USAID Youth Policy Launch where she advocated for the role of youth in policy and development changes. Additionally, she lobbied for the Water for the World Act to be introduced to the US Congress, which was eventually passed in 2014. 

After graduating, Maame moved back to Ghana and continued to champion many other organizations with the same goal: representing and advocating for marginalized groups, specifically women and children. The culmination of her conviction led her back to the States in pursuit of her law degree from Penn State Dickinson Law. Maame was passionate about exploring how the law relates to economic development and the protection of marginalized groups.

Now serving in the Delaware legal system as an associate attorney, Maame intends to contribute to the legal community through offering her perspective as a black woman of African descent, advocating for inclusion, and elevating the voices of the marginalized.

“The values of Faith, Reason, and Justice are even more critical to me now as an attorney,” Maame shares. “They form the backbone of my work and service to everyone around me.”

Maame is grateful not only for the education she received at Eastern University, but for the relationships she forged, specifically with Nancy Hartsock ’06, Theresa Noye, Lindy Backues ’93, Rebecca Gidjunis ’01, Laura Hartley, Landi Turner, Jonathan Yonan, and Frann Mawusi, among others. “Their willingness to listen, understand my needs, and alleviate my social and emotional burdens as an international student inspired me to be that same safe space for others. Eastern University will forever hold a place in my heart.”