top of page

Young Entrepreneur Of The Week: Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH

Welcome to another edition of the YEWGlobal blog series spotlighting the remarkable work of Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, a dedicated public health researcher and fervent advocate for mental health and wellness.

With a passionate commitment to ensuring that every individual, irrespective of their circumstances, can live the healthiest life possible, Akua's tireless efforts resonate with a profound sense of purpose.

“Venture into the realm of public health with confidence, knowing that your contributions have the power to shape a healthier, brighter future for all.” - Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH

Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH

The story of success requires perseverance and commitment, and Akua Serwaa-Sarfo’s story is no different. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, she relocated to Toronto at a young age. She completed high school and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Ottawa, where she graduated with a Bachelor's in Social Science. She then pursued a Master of Science in Public Health at Brunel University in the UK.

Akua Serwaa-Sarfo’s journey as a public health professional began amid uncertainty and global turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, where she found herself drawn into a world she had once embraced- public health. Her commitment towards creating a society where everyone, regardless of origin or circumstance, has access to the resources and opportunities needed to lead healthy and productive lives is the heart of her love for public health and community development.

Young Entrepreneur Of The Week: YEWGlobal
Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH

Presently, she serves as the Director of Programs at the African Research Academies for Women (ARA-W), an organisation that promotes women in STEM professions throughout Africa. She is a strong proponent of mentoring and its impact on developing the next wave of STEM leaders. She has a selfless and empathetic spirit. She measures success not only by personal accomplishments but also by the community's overall advancement.

Young Entrepreneur Of The Week: YEWGlobal
Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH

The significance of public health can not be overlooked. It is a field where every effort, no matter how small, contributes to the greater good of society. From combating infectious diseases to addressing social determinants of health, public health professionals play a pivotal role in safeguarding the well-being of communities worldwide.


1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. For example: (Your name, educational background, brand, achievements and everything that makes you who you are today?

Hello! My name is Akua Serwaa-Sarfo. I am a public health researcher and a mental health/wellness advocate. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana, but I relocated to Toronto at a young age. I completed high school at the top of my class and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Ottawa. There, I completed my Bachelor's degree in Social Science and went on to pursue my Master of Science degree in Public Health at Brunel University in the UK.

I have always excelled in school, and because of that, my family expected me to become a doctor, but I have never been a fan of the notion of waiting until a person is sick to treat them. My passion has always lied in ensuring that everyone, regardless of who you are, where you live, or how much money you make, can live the healthiest life possible. I am particularly interested in women’s health and enjoy contributing to communities where women’s voices are heard and valued.

2. Now, tell us more about your journey as a public health professional.

My journey to where I am in my public health profession has not been as straightforward as I would have hoped. After completing my Master's degree, it was challenging as a Canadian to secure a job that would sponsor me to work in the UK. I ended up moving back to Canada, where I worked full-time in the Mining Education industry while still volunteering and working part-time in public health.

It was not until the pandemic when I found myself closely following data from each country and doing my analysis, that I realised how much I love the world of public health and wanted to fully immerse myself in it again. This led me to pursue opportunities in Atlanta, the public health capital of the world. After applying and praying, I was fortunate to land a position that I love, surrounded by great colleagues who support my professional growth and provide networking opportunities with top industry professionals.

3. What initially sparked your interest in public health and community development?

It was a class I took in my first year of undergrad called The Social Determinants of Health that sparked my interest in public health. We learned about the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. I already knew about the health disparities between African countries and countries in North America, but I was shocked to see the disparities going on in the USA alone. Two people living in the same state could be on opposite sides of the health spectrum due to factors such as education, income level, ethnicity, and gender. During that class, I realised that I want to be someone who can affect change and put policies in place that will ensure health equity for all.

4. Can you share a specific experience from your professional journey that has been most impactful for you and why?

I have been blessed to achieve many successes in my career. One standout moment for me was when Brunel University, my alma mater, invited me to address the current MPH students. I love being able to share my story, especially if it encourages even one person not to give up. It took some time after graduation to reach this point, but once God opened the door, the opportunities started flooding in. I am excited to see where the next 5 to 10 years will take me.

5. Have you faced any significant challenges in your career as a young woman in your field? How did you overcome them?

The most significant challenge I have encountered was receiving numerous rejections right after graduating. I am confident I applied for over 100 jobs without any resulting interviews, but I kept going. Although I took a break from public health to work full-time in another field, I always kept my toes in the industry, and when the time was right, various opportunities presented themselves.

6. What are you most passionate about achieving through your work at the African Research Academies for Women?

The African Research Academies for Women (ARA-W) is an organisation dedicated to expanding research opportunities for women living in various African countries interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). As the current Director of Programs at ARA-W, I look forward to working with the rest of the team to develop and implement innovative programs that will have a lasting impact on the careers of our enrollees. We want them to be able to look back at their career and say my time at ARA-W was meaningful and helped propel me to the next stage of my career. Being able to give back to the next generation and in turn, have them come back and become mentors is the cycle that we can hope and pray for.

7. What does success mean to you, and how do you measure it in your career?

Success for me is leading a fulfilling and meaningful life. I feel most fulfilled when I can help those in need, whether it be volunteering at my local food bank or being a listening ear for a friend who needs to vent, I also find a lot of fulfilment in spending time with my loved ones. I measure success in my work by ensuring that I am passionate about what I do and that whatever it is, it gives me a sense of purpose. Waking up to go to work is easier knowing that I am working on projects that will affect policies and positively impact the health and lives of people.

8. How important is it to you to do what you love and be successful at it?

I honestly believe that life is way too short to spend prolonged periods on anything that does not bring you joy. If you have a job and the sole purpose of that job is to bring you income, spend time after work on your passion project. If spending time with your family is what makes you feel most fulfilled, find the time to do so. Doing what I love has brought me great joy and has led me to be successful because in pursuing my passions, I feel more fulfilled with my professional and personal life.

9. What advice would you give any individual trying to venture into public health?

I would encourage them to go for it! Public Health is so diverse with something in it for everyone. Whether you are interested in global health, research, health policy, epidemiology, community health, or environmental health, there is a wide array of concentrations to choose from. It is a meaningful work with lots of room to grow.

10. Are you on any social media platforms?

Yes! I am on LinkedIn Akua Serwaa-Sarfo, MPH | LinkedIn and Instagram Re.Mind.Her (@_re.mind.her).


The team at YEWGlobal wishes Akua Serwaa-Sarfo all the best in her next endeavours. We can't wait to have an update on your success journey.


We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of the YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK.

See You All Soon!


bottom of page