Alumni Spotlight: Kwaku Dakwa
By: Seth Johnson
Note: In celebration of ISBVI’s 175th anniversary, we’re catching up with alumni to learn more about the school’s impact on their life. Kwaku’s story is the second in our series of Alumni Spotlights.
Since graduating from Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) in 2014, Kwaku Dakwa hasn’t let anything stop him from chasing his dreams.
“I’m lucky that the only thing wrong with me is not being able to see,” says Dakwa, who was born with glaucoma. “Why not show people what you can do and not what you can’t do?”
After previously taking part in the school’s Short Course program (now known as L.E.A.D.S.), Dakwa came to ISBVI as a full-time student in August 2012 for his junior year of high school. While at ISBVI, he particularly remembers Judy Reynolds being a teacher who made a big impact on him.
“She was definitely a tough teacher, but it came from good intention,” Dakwa says of Reynolds. “She was someone who really did her best to prepare us for the real world and also kept it real. She pushed me to be a better writer and to be more responsible. I feel like that really helped me become the person I am today.”
Originally from Bloomington, Dakwa lived in the dorms while attending ISBVI, which also wound up being beneficial for him in the long run.
“When I went to college, I had a one-up on people since I had already lived in a dorm setting,” he says. “It was definitely a good environment for learning how to live with other people.”
With a passion for radio, Dakwa went on to attend Ball State University after graduating from ISBVI, where he studied broadcast journalism.
“When I lost my vision, I got my laptop, and that’s when streaming radio and YouTube got big,” Dakwa says. “I started finding out about all these people like Howard Stern. That’s when I learned that radio could be more than music — I realized I could tell stories with it and share my opinions. I like connecting with people, interviewing them, and also making them laugh.”
As a part of his degree at Ball State University, Dakwa was required to complete an internship in his field. This is what led him to intern at much-loved Indiana radio station WTTS-FM (92.3), where he developed a relationship with longtime radio personality Laura Duncan.
“I went in for the interview, and they said, ‘We don’t usually do internships because we’re a smaller staff. But it seems like you like this a lot, so we’ll give you a chance,’” Dakwa says. “So I went in there and learned a lot about production from them.”
Having now graduated from Ball State University, Dakwa is taking all that he’s learned about audio production over the years and using those skills in the real world. Currently living in Indianapolis, he works as a podcast coordinator with the marketing firm Maverick Solutions.