AU grad raising awareness for stuttering

John Ampiah-Addison said that he knows the frustration first-hand of having a lot to say, but the inability to say it.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - John Ampiah-Addison said that he knows the frustration first-hand of having a lot to say, but the inability to say it.

"I would cry because of that," he said.

"I somehow just wanted it to leave. Just one day wake up and I didn't have a stutter at all," Ampiah-Addison added. 

Ampiah-Addison grew up in Ghana, and said there was a major lack of understanding, around stuttering. He said he would often be called stupid by friends, and even teachers, as they thought  he was just stalling before answering a question.

"Teachers go to the extent of actually beating you to try and make you stop stammering," he said.

"Which is not the case. So there's a big gap as far as the education component  of it."

Now Ampiah-Addison is taking action to try and help kids in his position. He graduated from American University, and will soon begin his professional career at Deloitte. But before he starts, he is traveling to Ghana to organize a "Stammering Conference," to raise awareness. He plans to bring together speakers and experts, as well as business and government leaders from the country.

"For me I see it as my purpose," he said.

"I think I grew up with hating this part of me so much to a point where I've actually accepted it. I'm happy it's a part of who I am... Just being able to help one person will be very satisfying for me."

Ampiah-Addison said he needs to raise approximately $10,000 to finance the conference, and so he has created a GoFundMe page. If you want to donate, you can visit the page here.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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