Attending Malcolm X College is a family tradition for Elvis Dankwah—one he takes so seriously, he traveled from his home country of Ghana to Chicago in 2019 to enroll at the college.

“My family over here, everyone went to Malcolm X,” he said. “I just had to follow the same track.”

A Malcolm X College education isn’t the only thing that runs in Elvis’s family—healthcare careers do, too. His family members who are Malcolm X graduates are now in the nursing and pharmacy fields. Elvis is currently taking his prerequisite classes for pharmacy school to prepare for a healthcare career of his own.

While moving from Ghana to Chicago proved to be a big step, Elvis is thankful to have his family here for support. He’s currently living with his uncle in Bronzeville.

“My uncle has been so much help,” Elvis shared. “He’s showed me what to do and what not to do.”

That help has gone a long way for Elvis, who has been thriving during his time at Malcolm X. He is a student-athlete with a 4.0 GPA. He’s one of the leading soccer goal scorers in the country, and he could earn the National Junior College Athletic Association All-American honors for his talents both on the soccer field and in the classroom.

Beyond his responsibilities as a student-athlete, Elvis also manages to work an overnight job and make it to soccer practice by seven each morning. It’s a lot to balance for anyone, but Elvis knows it will all pay off once he reaches his goals.

Those goals include maintaining a strong GPA so he can apply for scholarships when he transfers to pharmacy school and to begin working as a licensed pharmacist. Elvis feels his instructors have been committed to helping him find that success. He remembers how his history professor, Professor Misbahu Rufai, went above and beyond to ensure Elvis did well in his class.

“He always has time for his students,” said Elvis. “Any time I had a problem, I was able to go to him. He took the time and went through everything and taught me what I need to do to get better. He’s been a great help to me.”

Elvis wasn’t afraid to ask for help, either. It’s something he advises any City Colleges student, especially new ones, to do.

“One thing I know for sure, people are always willing to help,” Elvis said. “You just have to ask the questions. There’s tutoring, there’s the Wellness Center—they will never sit back and let you fail. They want you to succeed.”

Elvis has also enjoyed being on the soccer team, calling it one of his best experiences so far at Malcolm X. It not only keeps him fit and keeps him playing a game he’s loved since he was a child, but he also shares a special bond with his coach and teammates.

“Being a part of such a group, it’s amazing, and it’s something I really cherish,” he said.

Elvis is wrapping up his final semester at Malcolm X. When he graduates with his Associate in Science, he wants to continue playing soccer, transfer to pharmacy school, earn his bachelor’s degree, and begin working like many of his family members have done before him. It’s a family tradition he’s proud to continue.

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