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Salifu personifies perseverance and potential

It takes passion, perseverance and potential to develop lasting change. While Ghana seems half a world away for Minot State University senior Alidu Salifu, he keeps people back home close to his heart. Despite the distance, he remains resolute in his mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged Ghanaians.

"I am very passionate about where I am from," Salifu said. "It is a very beautiful country, and it has so much potential. I aspire to be involved in the development of Ghana, and eventually the greater whole of Africa, in some capacity."

Salifu was drawn to Minot State University while attending a college recruiting fair at school in Montana,

"It was fate! Given the advancements Ghana has seen from the recent discovery of oil," Salifu said, "MSU's unique program on energy economics and finance was aligned perfectly with my desire to create positive change back home."

From the classroom, to the soccer field, to his part-time job in the MSU Bookstore, Salifu recognizes the importance of striking a successful medium between study, play, hard work, engagement and inspiration. He successfully juggles good grades, his love for soccer, and tutoring for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning

"Finding balance -- it has been my biggest challenge so far at MSU," he said. "Between working hard and keeping up with friends and family, both here and in Ghana, it is not always easy. The distance and timing are obstacles that I feel are important to overcome, because these are the people who keep me grounded."

Salifu credits his family as an important part of his ongoing success as a student.

"My parents, especially my mum, are my greatest inspiration and influence. They instilled within me the values of hard work, integrity and humility."

Salifu will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in energy economics and finance next spring. He plans to attend graduate school before returning to Ghana.