Taking Up the Call: Gifty Agyapong | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Taking Up the Call: Gifty Agyapong
(M.A., Education Policy)


Life Before TC:

When Gifty Agyapong was in the seventh grade in the South Bronx, one of her favorite teachers was TC alumnus Jonathan Schleifer (M.A. ’04) who sparked her passion for social justice and educational equity.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a major in international relations, she began taking up the call, and served a year as a City Corps member in New York City.

Why TC:

At Schlieifer’s suggestion, Gifty decided to enroll at TC. She joined  the Master of Arts program in Education Policy, from which she will earn a Master of Arts in May.  TC has offered her more real-world opportunities to promote educational equity:  during her time at the college, Gifty managed an after-school program in the South Bronx that provides tutoring and club activities tied to the Common Core and STEM disciplines, and cultivates social emotion learning skills.

TC Takeaway:

Graduates Gallery 2016 >>


At TC, Gifty says, she has learned to address education policy through the lens of social justice as well as academic achievement, “gained a lot of confidence in what I do” and “built a network, not just with my classmates, but with my professors.”  When people hear the TC name, she says, “they expect you to have knowledge—and you do, because you’ve done the work. It hasn’t always been easy, but those challenges are why I stuck with TC.”

What’s Next:

Gifty, 25, plans to continue to work in education for two to three more years and then head to Yale for an MBA. Her dream is to own a network of schools in her parents’ native Ghana, where there is no free public school system, and to have an education consulting firm in the South Bronx.

—Patricia Lamiell

Published Friday, May 6, 2016

Gifty Agyapong

Gifty Agyapong

Gifty Agyapong

Gifty Agyapong