Name: Price Maccarthy
Major(s): Legal Studies
Division: Arts and Humanities
Home Country: Ghana
Price Maccarthy was studying aerospace engineering in Ghana when she had to undergo an operation that presented her with a tough decision: drop out of university to recuperate or repeat her classes again. The choice she made changed her life.
Maccarthy decided to drop out of her school,prepare for her SAT exams, and look for another university to attend. She was looking for somewhere that could accommodate her visual impairment when her counselor suggested NYU Abu Dhabi. Maccarthy applied and was invited to Candidate Weekend where she got a feel of the campus environment in person.
Full of enthusiasm, Maccarthy returned home to tell her parents that she had found the right university but they were concerned.“Because of my (visual) disability, they were worried that I would be too far away for them to help me,” Maccarthy explained. With time, patience, and a supportive aunt who managed to persuade Maccarthy’s parents to change their minds, Maccarthy is now a graduating member of NYUAD’s Class of 2022.
Flourishing as a University Student
At NYUAD, Maccarthy began to flourish. Her university life became more enriched because of the people she met and interacted with regularly. “I have a supportive network of friends who have been really accommodating of my differences… and over the past four years I have become a better version of myself,” Maccarthy said. Maccarthy joined the student government to help advocate for students like her and engaged the University and her peers in a deeper dialogue on ensuring policies were even more accommodating to those with visual impairments.
Maccarthy was empowered by a blind student who was studying the same major. She was impressed by the way her classmate was not afraid to advocate for equal access to an understanding of the lectures. Instead of hiding their impairment, as Maccarthy was advised to do by her parents to avoid unwanted attention, her classmate was completely transparent with the professors. In several classes she observed the student letting professors know if something discussed was unclear. That sense of shared camaraderie encouraged Maccarthy to speak for all of her peers.
When I came here, I became more comfortable within my own skin. Seeing fellow students like me also helped make me more comfortable.
Flexibility of a Liberal Arts Education
With some background in engineering from her studies in Ghana, Maccarthy had naturally assumed she would continue down that path but she switched to legal studies. This would not have been possible had Maccarthy continued her education in her home country where students need to apply for a specific major and would have little opportunity to veer from their choices. “It’s so different here,” Maccarthy commented.
Four years at NYUAD wouldn’t have been the same without a few of Maccarthy’s closest supporters. Maccarthy especially thanks her aunt Shantel Awuni for her help convincing her parents that NYUAD was the right choice, and her friends Enid Mollel, Fanisi Mbozi, and Furqan Mohamed who never stopped encouraging her to try new things and push her limits. After graduation, Maccarthy will be working in the UAE as a researcher to help build databases.
“I came unsure of my abilities and my identity, but I’m leaving with much more belief in my ability to change myself and change the world,” Maccarthy said.