William Okrafo-Smart, a senior double majoring in psychology and global and international studies with minors in sociology and economics in College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, spent the past summer interning with IKhaya Le Langa, a nonprofit organization in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ikhaya Le Langa engages in entrepreneurial and community development to reverse the legacy of apartheid in Langa, Cape Town. The organization works to revitalize the Langa Quarter, an area housing approximately 7,000 people, through different projects to make the township cleaner, greener and safer.
Okrafo-Smart considered studying abroad a “must-do” even before he entered college. Knowing he had only one summer left for an international experience, he went to the Education Abroad Fair to find a program to best fit his interests. Council on International Educational Exchange’s internship abroad program stood out to him and he eventually found an internship in Cape Town, South Africa.
Okrafo-Smart received funding from the Career Enrichment Network in the College of the Liberal Arts to support his international experience. The network is a resource for all Liberal Arts students who are seeking opportunities to engage in career-related, international and professional development activities.
During his internship, Okrafo-Smart established a Youth Enterprise Program. Aimed at introducing the youth of Langa to the foundational aspects of entrepreneurship, he designed, implemented and facilitated a five-week series of workshops. Through the program, students set up informal businesses to help their community. He taught several workshops as well, discussing topics like personal development, leadership, business fundamentals, and marketing.
Okrafo-Smart credits his liberal arts education with not only helping him succeed with his project but with landing the opportunity to work on it in the first place.