I got to know Rejoice through LinkedIn after her name appeared on my timeline among the women supporting advocacy of STEM through the ‘1 million girls in STEM’ campaign. Here is our interview about her STEM journey:
Hi Rejoice! Thank you for joining us today
Hello Winnie! It is my pleasure.
Kindly tell us your full name
My name is Rejoice Ntiriwaa Ossei-Bremang
What is your current occupation?
I am a renewable energy and clean cooking technologies researcher at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology coupled as an Assistant Lecturer at Cape Coast Technical University. My research focuses on clean energy access, environmental justices and climate change nexus. I am a professional engineer and a member of the Ghana Institution of Engineering.
Please tell us a little bit about your background; from childhood to where you are now
Born to Ghanaian parents, Francis and Dora Adjei-Bremang, I spent my formative years at Effiduase Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa. I attended Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ Senior High School and went on to study at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, graduating with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. I hold an MPhil, and are currently doing my PhD in Sustainable Energy Technologies at the Department of Mechanical Engineering from the same university. I became the foundation head mistress and was promoted to a project director at Alma Mater Education, a UK based charity organization for implementing a free senior high school project in rural Ghana prior to the national free Senior School Education initiative by the current government. I am also a member of the International Association of Engineers. Every experience and privilege I have had to go through in life has resulted from the mercies and favour of EL-Roi, and I do not take that for granted.
What have you found inspiring along this journey called life?
I am glad to have a good support system, made of family, friends and loved ones. They always show up for me when the going gets tough. I thank God for sending such priceless people my way. Also, I was oriented as a child to leave the world a better place than I found it, no matter how minute my contribution might be. To live a life of legacy has been my greatest desire. Growing up, I have always wanted to be a model of hope and resilience for the next generation. I feel that young people should resolve in their minds that no matter the circumstances they face in life, there will always be a better solution. That’s only if they are ready to push forward.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I spend my free time igniting passion in girls. I embark on the ‘Normalize STEM for Girls’ campaign for young girls. These workshops aim at encouraging young girls to take up STEM related courses and careers, as a way of bursting gender-based stereotypes in our area of expertise.
What have been some of your achievements in life?
I am the founder of JEIKOA Energy, a private consulting start up enterprise for renewable energy and energy access projects in Ghana. I am also an ambassador for 1 million girls in STEM, an initiative by WomEng (Women in Engineering), which is endorsed by the UNESCO. I am privileged to be part of the shortlisted participants from Africa and Asia for the on-going inaugural cohort of the Women in Clean Cooking Mentorship program organized by Sustainable Energy for All, Clean Cooking Alliance, and Global Women Network for Energy Transition. I also have a publication on “A decision support system for the selection of sustainable biomass resources for bioenergy generation” in a Springer journal. Lastly, for today, I am the founder of a grass root volunteer group called energy environment and climate hub (EEC hub).
What is your favourite quote?
“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there.” ~ Kofi Annan
What advice do you give to young girls in STEM?
The only blockade between you and your vision is your mind. Have faith in God and the potential He has endowed you with. You were created differently and uniquely from everyone else, so don’t look down on yourself. Have the mental fortitude and the spirit of resilience to thrive through life’s roller coasters, until you have achieved your goal.
Thank you, Rejoice, for this wonderful session, and for sharing part of yourself with us. We wish you all the best in life!