Teresa Danso-Danquah ’15, an ILR School student and advocate for people with disabilities at Cornell, nationally and internationally, has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar.
She will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study through the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, which announced its 59 Truman Scholars April 16; recipients are juniors in college who intend to make a career in public service.Danso-Danquah, who plans to pursue a master/doctoral degree in disability and human development and a law degree, minors in Spanish, law and society, and inequality studies.
A Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholar, a McNair Scholar and a Public Service Center Scholar, Danso-Danquah has worked on a project to increase employment of youth with disabilities in Hyderabad, India, led therapeutic arts lessons with teen girls in Cusco, Peru, and served as a disability policy intern in the U.S. Senate.
On campus, she is president of the Disabilities Service Troop and the Cornell Union for Disabilities Awareness. Off campus, she volunteers with a residential program for young adults with disabilities. Her research at ILR’s Employment and Disability Institute focused on the transition of young adult with disabilities into higher education and the work world.
The scholarship’s application process, Danso-Danquah said, was rigorous. “You really have to reflect on and articulate your academic, leadership and community engagement in high school and college, and formulate plans of where you imagine going next,” she said. “As a person who loves to reflect, it was great to begin this process at the end of my sophomore year knowing that it was important for not only this application process, but how I really evaluate my time at Cornell and as a young adult.”I’m sincerely humbled by this award and its affirmation of the academic, leadership and service work I have done so far and the future potential they see in me.”
Mary Catt is assistant director of communications at the ILR School.