About Nana Ama Boateng

Counseling and Community Psychology master’s degree candidate Nana Ama Boateng was one of five Russell Sage College students who participated in the 2021 AmeriCorps VISTA summer program, which places service-minded individuals in summer positions that address community needs.

Nana Ama was a summer associate at the Cohoes Connect Center. She helped to run science, technology, engineering, math and arts programs for kids, and collaborated on research measuring their engagement in informal STEM activities. 

The research has the potential to be published and will help the Connect Center design high-quality “out of the classroom” educational programs. 

In one of the most popular activities at the Center, kids learned how to take apart, rebuild and code a computer that they could keep. 

“We’re assessing behavior, cognitive engagement and emotional engagement,” Nana Ama said. “How intrigued are these kids as they are putting the computer together, learning about the software? Are they asking questions? Are they able to understand what we’re saying, are they able to explain it back to us?”

Nana Ama had been leaning toward a career as a child psychologist and applied for the AmeriCorps position at the Connect Center because she felt it “would be a great avenue for me to really know if I want to work with kids.”

Her answer is a resounding, Yes!

The highlights have been “so many,” she continued, from learning how to build a computer alongside the kids to lending an ear to kids having a tough day. 

“At the end of each week, when kids come up to me and tell me that they had a blast,” she said, ”I love that so much.”