Ghana Native Wants to Use Track Career to Help Her Former Village
Ever since Amanda Agana started running track at Fayetteville High School she has been turning heads. Last year as a freshman she broke the school record in the 800, but her story goes beyond her impact on the track.
She’s from a small village in Ghana Africa where all her life her family has been known as the village leaders.
“When I was 12 I met my father`s new wife, her name was Carol,” said Amanda Agana. “And she was like ‘I`m taking you to America.’”
The opportunity to come to America was something the people in her village could only dream of. Amanda never ran track prior to coming to the United States, but a missing cooking ingredient sparked what is going to be a fantastic career.
“It started when I first met my new mother and she sent me to get tomatoes for her. It was a little far away so she told me to run as fast as I could because the food was almost done and she needed the tomatoes. So I started sprinting and I ran and I came back, and she told me I could be a runner. I never thought I would start running, but she told me I have the legs for it. I didn`t really get what she meant by saying I had the body for a runner, but I agreed. And then in 7th grade she pushed me to try out for the track team and I made it, and I was so happy.”
And from that point on Amanda fell in love with the sport. She had an outstanding freshman year and has picked up right where she left off as a sophomore. She has lofty goals of shaving six seconds off her 800 meter time this season, but a trip back to her village, where her family is known as the Aganas which means above all, has pushed her to accomplish that goal and many more.
“I want to work really hard and go to the Olympics. And with my first pay check I want to start a non-profit organization that will help me buy a hospital and a school for my village, because when I went back most of the girls I went to school with where married and had kids. And I thought that was crazy that they have families and I was still in school. They said what else are we supposed to do, that`s all they knew. I want to show them that there is so much more after junior high then getting married and having kids.”