For 26-year-old Bernard Fosu, a former student of Kenyase No. 2 Methodist Basic School in the Brong Ahafo Region, graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with a Master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering is an accomplishment he long dreamed of achieving.
Overcoming the financial constraints obstructing his academic goals in Ghana and abroad, Bernard reached his goal of being a fully qualified Process Engineer/Metallurgist.
He is a beneficiary of the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation’s (NADeF) scholarship award and a passionate young man with a desire to serve his community.
The young Metallurgist completed his basic education at Kenyasi Methodist School before proceeding to Kumasi Anglican Senior High where he earned a full merit-based Ghana government scholarship. He then proceeded to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa in the Western Region of Ghana where he earned a BSc Mineral Engineering.
Growing up at Kenyase, Bernard says his interest was to become a journalist but that changed when he attended a holiday orientation programme which Newmont Ghana organized for students near its Ahafo mine.
“An officer from Newmont gave an overview of mining and the exciting career opportunities it offers. When he mentioned that the metallurgists process the ore for the gold, I told myself that is what I want to be doing,” said Bernard.
Following his excellent performance in the West African Senior Secondary School Exams (WASSCE), the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) awarded him a scholarship to pursue his dreams of becoming a Mineral Engineer at UMaT.
According to Bernard, the scholarship complemented his parents’ efforts and motivated him to focus on his academic work while at the university.
“The scholarship from Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) came at a time when my parents needed financial assistance to support my college education. I couldn’t be more grateful. If I ever felt secured in my academic life then I owe a great deal of gratitude to NADeF, because I knew for a fact that every academic year my NADeF scholarship grant was going to be credited into my account. It afforded me the opportunity to buy books, hand-outs, and even buy a laptop for academic work.”
While in school, Bernard completed an internship at the Processing Department of the Ahafo mine. This experience, he says, gave him a practical exposure into his course of study.
Bernard also was selected to participate in Newmont’s Emerging Talent Program (ETP).The ETP is a Newmont training initiative where high-achieving graduates are selected for a two-year, on-the-job mentoring program with the company. He describes that experience as crucial to his career development.
“I was the first Ahafo indigene in the program. The training schedule for the program was comprehensive. I had the opportunity to spend quality time at each of the circuits at the Process Plant and also understudied with the technical staff.”
Upon successful completion of the ETP, Bernard was awarded another scholarship by the Colorado School of Mines to pursue his post graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Taylor. The scholarship was fully funded by Newmont and fully covered Bernard’s tuition, research, medical expenses, and stipend. His research project gave rise to two technical publications, three presentations at professional conferences, and three poster presentations. Bernard received the “Top Oral Presentation” award at the 2015 Conference on Earth and Energy Research annual conference held in Golden, Colorado.