Spotlight SAC Alumni: Hannah Bonacci

Name: Hannah Bonacci

Undergraduate Graduation Year: 2014

Undergraduate Major/Minor:Social Work/Spanish

Did you hold any positions in SAC? What were they?New Member Retreat Coordinator, Director of Diversity

Where are you living now? Columbus, OH

What are you doing now?I am finishing up a 3-year graduate program in Social Work and Public Health at Ohio State. I will be graduating in May. Aside from school, I work for the Office of the Vice President of Student Life as a Graduate Administrative Assistant. What I am currently doing that I am most passionate about is working for The Akumanyi Foundation, the nonprofit I Co-founded alongside my Ghanaian, Co-founder, Francis Akumanyi. We launched the foundation in 2014 with the goal of empowering vulnerable youth and women through collaborative partnerships and sustainable projects. Since our launch, we have worked on a variety of empowerment initiatives and we have taken over 35 Ohio State students on our annual service-learning trips to Ghana, which focus on building global citizenship among college students. This summer we will be bringing another thirty students, and will be working towards building a new school for a rural village that serves 400 youth.

Favorite SAC tradition and why:The Hero Book. I thought it was a really special opportunity to highlight members that were making a positive difference in our life, the organization, and our community. Knowing it was not about just friendships, but the impact made it even more meaningful and an opportunity to highlight members who are not always active in the social outings.

Favorite SAC memory:It’s hard to choose one. I had three great years in SAC alongside some amazing people. I think the annual Senior Kidnaps were my favorite memories. Having the opportunity to all come together to reflect on the past year, celebrate the contributions of the seniors, and to share our gratitude for the relationships we have all built in the organization was really special.  I can’t think of a better end of the year send-off for everyone and a reminder of the potential we all had to make a positive impact during our time in SAC. There was something sacred to that tradition. I hope it’s still ongoing!

How has SAC helped you get to where you are today?SAC provided a platform for me to successfully launch into the Ohio State community and all of the opportunities it offers. SAC’ers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, all bringing their own experiences and skills to the group. For me, it was building relationships with SAC’ers, many of whom are still my closest friends today, and learning from them. As a freshman, I looked up to the older members and learned about the vast amount of opportunities at Ohio State to those who take advantage of them. Ultimately, SAC was a springboard to future involvements and a supportive community of mentors and friends. My greatest passion has been running The Akumanyi Foundation, and it was my SAC friends that were some of my biggest supporters from the time I first started going to Ghana in 2011 as a young 19 year-old. That’s what was great about SAC. It wasn’t just about the skills and experiences we had in the organization. It was about this larger family and network we built, that has continued to be a support system throughout the years.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with SAC members, past, present and future? Whether you are a first year student, new member, or general member, do not doubt your ability to make a positive impact on SAC and the individuals in it! Go to meetings, volunteer for events, and go to socials. Some of my best conversations with SAC’ers came from the informal hangouts when we were getting coffee, grabbing a meal before the meetings, or doing homework in the office together. You are in the organization because someone recognized your talent, so don’t be afraid to let that shine. At the same time, don’t lose the opportunity to gain insight and build relationships with the many talented individuals singing the SAC creed every meeting alongside you. You truly are among an incredible group of students, who can continue to be by your side throughout college and beyond. In the past week, I spent probably 4 hours catching up with some of my closest SAC friends who are now all across the country. To past SAC members, it is never too late to follow your passions. If I have learned anything from my time at Ohio State, it is that the fulfillment of pursuing your passion cannot have a price tag placed on it. We all have the ability to bring about positive change in our local and global communities with our diverse talents, so do not forget the day to day actions that can contribute to a cause larger than yourself.