George Mason University


Graduation Profile: Joyce Frempong

Working, Studying, and At Last, Graduating

environmental portrait of Joyce Frempong

Joyce Frempong

Three days a week, after her 12-hour shifts as a hospital secretary, Joyce Frempong would rush to Mason, where she said she would brush her teeth in her car and change her clothes in a university bathroom just to get to class on time.

For the 45-year-old from Woodbridge, Virginia, who came to the United States from Ghana 20 years earlier and had a husband and 10-year-old son to attend to, the routine was worth it.

“I’m overjoyed,” she said of earning her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Scienceat Mason after two years at Northern Virginia Community College. “I look back sometimes, going hours without any sleep, the stress. But I see myself, and I’m graduating, and it’s like a dream come true.”

Frempong aspires to be a family services counselor and might return to Mason to pursue a master’s degree. She credits College of Education and Human Development associate professor Bethany Letiecq for inspiring her.

“I don’t know how to thank her,” Frempong said. “She gave me strength. She kept pushing me every day and working with me. She was the one who started everything.”