You can’t become what you can’t see
For Angela Donkor, it’s not enough to reach new heights on your own; the view’s even better when you help up the people who come after you.
“I will never forget that girl,” Angela Donkor ’12 says, remembering the Angela who first set foot on Boston College’s campus: a first-generation college student who had emigrated to the United States just two years prior. She felt completely overwhelmed. Now, a corporate lawyer at Amazon advising clients on the Alexa App, Donkor reflects on her time at BC and the moments that shaped her.
“I remember my first class at BC like it was yesterday—Intro to Political Science with Kathleen Bailey. I felt so lost,” she says. “At the end of class, I got up to talk to Professor Bailey and told her I wasn’t going to make it. And even though there was a line of students waiting to talk to her, she spent all that time reassuring me. In those first few weeks at Boston College, I really felt the University wrap its arms around me.”
A microcosm of her relationship with the University, Donkor and Bailey remain close—almost 15 years since that encouraging conversation. In fact, Bailey went on to serve as Donkor’s thesis advisor, and the two traveled to Kuwait together as part of a BC summer program.
After leaving the Heights, Donkor remained involved with the University because “so many peers and professors and mentors went out of their way to care for me and help,” she says. “When I think of BC, I think of home. The University allowed me to thrive.”
A member of the Council for Women of Boston College, Donkor attends numerous alumni events a year and remains engaged in recruiting and mentoring new students. Recalling her own humble beginnings, Donkor plans to continue her mentorship activity. “There’s got to be another student who feels the way I did when they arrive at the Heights. The opportunity to turn around and be a role model for current Eagles is very important to me; you can’t become what you can’t see.”
Since graduating from BC, Donkor earned her law degree and worked at several firms before joining Amazon. Today, she travels the globe serving clients the world over—from India to Jordan to France and everywhere in between.
“My clients have joked that I’m a part-time legal advisor, part-time therapist, and part-time cheerleader,” she says. “In reality, the Jesuit, Catholic education I received at BC taught me the necessity of stepping out of yourself, meeting people where they are, and sitting with them in their struggles. That theme continues to inform my legal career in ways I never could have anticipated.”