This archived article was written by: Benoni Sowah
Hannah Lartey is always either too serious or too happy, but there is more to her than we know.
The beautiful olive-skinned student was born in Orem, Utah, to the Lartey family, which comprises her Ghanaian dad and American mom. She is the third of six children. She said enjoys being the middle child.
Her dad is from Ghana and served an LDS mission in California and was sponsored by his mission president to get an education in Ricks College. It was there that her parents met and were married.
They have since lived in Orem and she attended Orem Junior High and Mountain View High. She graduated early and went to Utah Valley University.
Lartey said her multi-racial background is something she is proud of but at the same time does not see it as a big deal. “I don’t realize who I am till someone points it out to me. I see myself as a lady who wants to be a nurse in the U.S. Navy” she said.
She said sometimes people do things that make her feel they are being racial. But she has learned that most of them are not even aware of what they are doing and so she does not take offense. “Seeing things in a racial way is the worst way to look at things.”
Lartey was aware of her race when she was growing up. Most kids talked about her skin and made comments that offended her. She said she wrote a lot in her journal about most of these things, but did not tell her mom because she felt her mom would not understand. Now she does not care.
One would imagine how life with multi-racial parents with different cultures would be like. Lartey said she did not notice any different cultures growing up. Her parents have been able to mesh their cultures and that has made her family quite unique.
Aside from the racial comments, she states that people admire her olive skin and hair. Being mixed is the best of both worlds. She said one day while rubbing on lotion in the gym, a friend said, “Oh my gosh your skin is like polished wood. It is so nice.”
Lartey is futuristic, goal oriented and tries to not be distracted. She has a five-year plan, which is to graduate as a registered nurse, go on an LDS mission and get her bachelor’s nursing through the Navy Nurse Corp. She would stay in the military if she likes it or work as a civilian. She is open to other good things that would come her way.
Her decision to be a nurse was reaffirmed after her visit to Ghana. She wants to go back sometime to help others in Africa. She said she refers to Ghana as the land of her ancestors and to America as her home. She loved the Ghana-Accra temple, but thought Ghana was hot.
She loves America and is grateful for the men and women who fight for the freedom of America.
Lartey said, “Just because a land is not connected to us does not mean we should leave them alone to suffer. It is noble that we try to give people a chance to also live their lives in peace.”
She is patriotic, but does not really like politics. She is willing to support any president elected. She does not know a lot about the wars the U.S. is fighting, but she is willing to do what is required of her.
She is the residential advisor for Tucker Residence Hall. She loves her job and the opportunity it gives her to relate with the students in her hall.
“I am happy to help and to be able to do something that someone cannot do for himself makes me happy,” she added.
Her life is full of fun. She likes to bake cookies, cakes and desserts. She loves karaoke and dancing. She either dances alone or with friends.
Most times she finds herself in awkward situations, some of which are embarrassing at the time, but funny later.
When she is free, she goes on a drive. She loves her family a lot and hangs out with them as often as she can. Hannah likes to go camping at the spur of the moment or hiking for one night. She likes to talk about and celebrate her birthday.
Janet Lowe, head residential advisor of Burtenshaw Residence Hall, said Lartey is the sweetest person she has ever met. She is super fun and adjusts easily to circumstances around her. She is nice to everyone. “Hannah is personable,” she said.
Lowe also said she thinks that Lartey is one of the most hardworking RA’s. Considering the fact that she is in the nursing program, which is demanding and also working as an RA is a tough thing to do.
“Hannah is in charge of one the tough halls. She attends all her meetings and does her rounds too”.
Lartey’s advice to students of USU-Eastern is to get to know people for who they are, not what they wear, where they are from or what they look like. And if we judge people, we should still try to know them because our view of them might be wrong.