University of Michigan track athlete with Olympic aspirations making difference halfway around world

Roland Amartiefio wants to compete in Tokyo

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A University of Michigan athlete with aspirations to compete in the Summer Olympics is making a major impact halfway across the world.

Student Roland Amarteifio feels most at home competing for the Wolverines on the track.

“I think I’m third at Michigan for the 1,600-meter hurdles,” Amarteifio said.

But in his spare time, he’s trying to change the world one computer at a time. Amarteifio is making sure children halfway around the world have access to technology.

Amarteifio was born in Chicago, but he was raised in Ghana for most of his early childhood. During the summer of 2018, Amarteifio, his girlfriend and his friend came up with an idea for a nonprofit.

“We realized that there was great need for what’s called, ‘digital divide,'” Amarteifio said.

They call their organization The Five North Project, for the coordinates of Ghana. They’re asking companies and schools to donate old computers.

“While they might not be the newest MacBook, it can be re-purposed and placed where it is greatly needed,” Amarteifio said.

Last summer, the organization delivered 547 computers to 25 schools in a rural region of Ghana.

“I think, for me, it brought perspective to where we are in the world,” Amarteifio said. “It gave me an understanding of the impact we can have.”

Another trip to Ghana is planned for this June.

Amarteifio hopes a trip to Tokyo will follow in July, as he continues to compete for one last season as a Wolverine. Amarteifio wants to hit his mark and qualify for the Olympics, where he can compete for his country.

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