Class of 2015
By Vicki Ikeogu
Originally published: January 3, 2016
Six thousand miles. That is the distance that separates Eunice Adjei-Bosompem from her current home in Minnesota and her home country of Ghana.
"I say home is where the heart is," Adjei-Bosompem said. "So you can make any place home. I mean, it's still tough because sometimes I do miss like my cousins, my nephews and nieces. So I do miss home sometimes."
In 2005, Adjei-Bosompem and her brother, Emmanuel Oppong, made the 6,000-mile trip to the United States. They made a short stop in New Jersey before moving to Central Minnesota.
"I didn't have any intentions of going to school or anything," Adjei-Bosompem said. "Afterwards I was like, 'I think I need to do something with my life.' "
Taking the lessons she learned from her mother, Adjei-Bosompem enrolled at St. Cloud State University, a stepping stone in a career path of service.
"I've always had a passion to help minorities as well as educate people on minority issues so they can better work with minorities," Adjei-Bosompem.
After completing her master's degree, Adjei-Bosompem opened a cultural consulting business, Adom Consulting LLC, in 2011. The business is designed to help bridge the gap between the mainstream and the needs and issues of minority populations.
Adjei-Bosompem also took steps to help ensure a voice for the minority communities was heard on influential decision-making boards such as the Tri-County Action Program and Create CommUNITY. She also is a project manager for CentraCare Health, in charge of working to reduce diabetes among East Africans and Latinos.
As recognition of her work in Central Minnesota, Adjei-Bosompem was selected for the 5 Under 40 Class of 2015. The Times recently caught up with Adjei-Bosompem to talk about her efforts.
Question: Can you provide me with a brief overview of your career path?
Answer: Growing up in Ghana we always had the values instilled in us to be kind and to also work hard because hard work pays off. I had a mentor when I came over here, Hedy Tripp, who helped me get started. Being an immigrant, I didn’t know where resources were. I didn’t even know where to get started. But Hedy took me to meetings and got me started by saying "Hey Eunice, come with me." She just took me along with wherever she was going.
Q: How did you end up deciding that you wanted to go to St. Cloud State?
A: I think my mom told us education would help you get to where you would like to be in the future. So coming from Ghana and having those values here from my mom, I was like "hey I wanted to do something because I know that is what will help me out in the future to get something that I could show for it." You know in this country, you need papers with everything that you do. As education, as documentation like "hey I did this, hey I did that." So that is why I decided to go to college.
Q: When did you realize that community activism was your calling?
A: I always wanted to help out. I have a passion to help my community and make it a better place. I don’t think there was a specific time. Like I said, coming from Ghana people were always willing to help (each other), so that value has been instilled in me.
Q: What are some of the daily challenges you encounter with your work, particularly at Adom Consulting but also with Create CommUNITY?
A: I think it’s change. It’s helping people to have the mindset of change in our community. That is a challenge. But at the same time it is also rewarding because change is good.
Eunice Adjei-Bosompem smiles as she talks about her community involvement Dec. 15 in her office in St. Cloud. (Photo: Kimm Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: So how do you feel the St. Cloud community and Central Minnesota have grown since you started your career?
A: I think that they are more accepting of diversity. And people are more willing to form relationships they might not otherwise. So the conversations on race have really helped to steer that. And the conversations just don’t end at the River’s Edge Convention Center. But people tend to (say things) like, "let me come to lunch, let me come to your home for Thanksgiving." So those conversations have helped form relationships beyond that conversation on race.
Q: Where does Central Minnesota really need to focus its attention going forward?
A: I think empowering minorities to be in leadership positions. Because I think minorities need to be at a decision-making table. Being in a position of power, like having someone on city council, having someone sit on the school board. We need minorities in all of those positions of power. That is when we will really see change in our community.
Q: Do you think there has been some hesitation? And if so, why?
A: There will always be hesitation because of change. Nobody likes change. We’re humans, we don’t like change. ... You can dream all you (want), but if you don’t take any action, it’s not going to happen. So we need to take action.
Q: What advice would you give to other professionals, especially young professionals who are just starting out on their career journey?
A: I think that they should never think they have it all down. There is always room for improvement. Volunteer in your community. And do something that will have an impact in other people’s lives.
Occupation: Owner of Adom Consulting LLC. Grant and project manager for CentraCare Health.
Education: Bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in social responsibility from St. Cloud State University.
Family: Mother Anne Ocran; brother Emmanuel Oppong.
Community involvement: Board member of the Tri-County Action Program, St. Cloud State University Alumni board member, chair of the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission, African Women's Alliance board member, chair of the Midwest Oromo Community. Adjei-Bosompem also works closely with Create CommUNITY and CentraCare in teaching cultural competency.