Public can help University of Utah Masters student win international award

Nov 8, 2023, 4:57 PM | Updated: 5:25 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A student at the University of Utah is in the running for a major award, and he needs the community’s help to win.

Osei Boateng was born and raised in Ghana. He’s currently studying to earn his Master’s in Business Creation at the U. Soon, he will be on the international stage representing Utah as a Top 10 finalist for CNN’s Hero of the Year.

Boateng is already the CEO of his nonprofit called OKB Hope Foundation. It’s based in Ghana, where he’s from.

“We go to rural and underserved communities to provide them with primary and preventative healthcare,” he said.

He converted a van into a mobile healthcare clinic that resembles a doctor’s office. The van has solar panels that the team relies on in communities that don’t have electricity.

“They get to see a doctor, they get their labs done, they get medications, and they’re out of there,” he said.

Boateng said people in his community, like his grandmother and aunt had to travel for miles for medical care. He said, on average, people are walking 10-15 miles to visit a clinic.

“Even if they got there, there’s no guarantee that they will see a doctor,” he said.

He said that’s what led to his family members’ deaths.

“If we could have gotten the care at an earlier time, or even seen the healthcare provider, they could’ve prevented that,” he said. “It wasn’t a disease they should have died of, so that’s why I’m trying to get the van to these communities.”

He hopes to earn revenue and a platform for his business by winning CNN Hero of the Year.

“It’s really important for me to get this particular support to expand the work I’m doing because right now we don’t have any significant support,” he said.

If he wins, he earns $100,000.

“All of the professors, my preceptors, colleagues, they are all supportive of the work I’m doing,” Boateng said.

*You can vote for Boateng here every day through Dec. 5. The winner will be announced on Dec. 10.

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