CFCU Concludes Internship with FVTC Global Studies Participant

Francis in Graduation Hat and Gown for International Friendship Day

We’re not sure who got more out of CFCU’s recent accounting internship – the participating student, or those of us lucky enough to share in his journey. 

Ghana native Frances Okyere Danso spent just two months with Community First’s Finance and Accounting teams but managed to make quite a lasting impression in that short time. 

“This internship was the best I’ve experienced,” shared Accounting Manager Jodi Van Pay. “In part because it was conducted through the International Student Program/Global Education Services … and well, just because it was Francis. He was wonderful to work with and I believe it was extremely meaningful to him.”

One interaction with Francis and chances are, you’d feel the same. 

Making the Most of Each Day

Nominated by the Accountancy and Accounting Information Systems department at Ghana’s Kumasi Technical University, Danso completed several interviews and assessments to be chosen as a participant in the highly competitive US Department of State’s 2022-2023 Community College Initiative (CCI) Program. The opportunity brought him to Appleton, WI where he began his journey with FVTC Global Studies as an accounting student, and would later join Community First’s internship program.

Francis in bow tie holding two degrees.

Over the course of his 10-month visit, Danso made the Dean’s list, served as Treasurer for the International Culture Club, and made notable improvements in his written and oral communication of the English language. Beyond his academic commitments, he shared presentations with local college and high school students about West African culture, joined in the creation of a soccer club at FVTC, and completed over 100 hours of volunteer work for nearby organizations including Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Joseph Parish. 

But even more vast than his collective achievements, is his gratitude. 

“I urge everyone who has the opportunity and wishes to study abroad to do so,” he shared. “Leaving your comfort zone can be a bit difficult, but just think about the experience and knowledge you will acquire. There are wonderful souls out there who are willing to shape you to become better.”



Fostering Human Connection

One would argue Danso left our world better, too. In his final days at CFCU, he would be remembered for much more than his work ethic and drive to learn, with many members of the CFCU team recounting the great conversation and laughter they shared in his company.

CFCU accounting team with Francis in front of We'll Find A Way Together sign at CFCU's Neenah based headquarters.

“It was sad to see him go,” recalled Van Pay. “There were lots of pictures and hugs.”
No doubt Danso will continue shining his light on the minds and hearts of others as he returns to Ghana to continue his education. He aspires to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the goal of supporting businesses in making sound financial decisions. 
In the meantime, we could all stand to take a page from Danso’s appreciative and mindful book. 
“I had the opportunity to learn about various cultures, religions, and lifestyles,” he said. “It was fascinating to observe how people interacted with one another and how distinctively different each person was. Hearing about their perspectives on life and the world was exciting to me.”
We wish Francis well in his future endeavors and thank him for sharing his curiosity and talents with us!


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