Local high school stem students travel to Ghana to help provide clean water: "We're life changers"

A group of STEM Ambassadors at Imhotep Institute Charter High School in East Germantown are back from an international service trip.

Sixteen students traveled to Ghana and used their STEM education to deliver and install water filtration systems among other services and resources.

"For them to be able to see clear water it just made me happy," 17-year-old student Ariel Headen said. "I’ve never helped somebody that much to where I changed their lives, we’re really life changers, we’re really helping people."

The Philadelphia Eagles helped sponsor the service-oriented trip and even provided a crew to film and document the entire experience.

Students said people living in a remote island village were getting their water from a swamp. Many were using their monthly income at the hospital because they became sick from drinking the contaminated water.

Student Musa Wilson, 17, said seeing their reaction to the water filters working was priceless.


"They were so ecstatic like literally, actually jumping up and down when they saw the water change colors," Wilson said. "They were screaming, and they were just so happy hugging each other. Some of them were crying, and it really pulled on our heartstrings as well."

During the 10-day trip, Imhotep students donated 3D printers to multiple schools in hopes of addressing environmental issues in a sustainable way. The students instructed village scholars on how to use the 3D printers.

Shirley Posey is the Director of STEM at Imhotep and said this is only the beginning of the new STEM program.

"We’re going to continue with the mission, and that’s cultivating global leaders, agents and change makers who are effectively addressing issues in the community using the power of STEM," Posey said.

Students said the love they were shown in Ghana was overwhelming, especially from the young boys and girls.

"Instantly loved. The kids came up to us, hugged us. The kids were very loving, and everything was so genuine with them," student Jabree Wallace-Coleman said. "I started crying. It was a beautiful sight to help people, to help my people. I’m about to start tearing up now just thinking about it."

"It was the unity, the coming together of our students and the people who lived there, and it was just one big celebration," said Deborah Toney Moore, Executive Administrative Associate at Imhotep.

Students said the impact this trip had goes both ways. The students collectively said this trip was life changing.

"After going on the trip and seeing the people and seeing how happy and how spirited they were, my mindset just changed," said student Jeremiah White. "I would say I’m a more happier person and more open minded than I was… I think changed for the better."