You Can B Gracious - Daniel Kotey ('22)
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
“You Can B Gracious” – Daniel Kotey (’22, Accounting)
In 2004, Daniel came to the United States from Ghana with his family and settled in New Jersey. The chance to come to the United States was based on a lottery system – a chance that came true and would reshape the rest of Daniel and his family’s life.
This country has provided me with opportunities and privileges that I would not have had back in my home country. It reminds me that in all of life and all of the things you do, you always have to remember where you came from.”
The transition to American culture played a big part in redefining what Daniel’s life would be like here. While it came with so much good, there were days and moments that were harder than others. Daniel recalls his middle school days as some of the tougher ones. Even in a community of predominately African Americans, Daniel was ridiculed for the way he looked and the way he spoke. This negativity was never easy to battle but Daniel knew that these experiences would not overwhelm his perspective on life. He pledged to turn this unwanted hate into fuel to bring positivity into this world through acts of kindness to others.
He says, “Knowing the feeling of others tearing you down made me want to show others the feeling of people building you back up. So that’s what I did and will continue to do.”
At Bentley, Daniel is involved in Alpha Phi Omega which is a community service fraternity that prides itself on leadership, friendship and service. Over the years, Daniel has extended his support to various events on and off campus, from food banks to community clean ups and more. These moments of getting involved in the community and dedicating your time to serve others are the moments that make him the happiest. Daniel enjoys being a beacon of hope for the less fortunate and found that the most rewarding part isbeing surrounded by passionate, hard-working people and knowing he ismaking a difference.
Daniel’s service extends further than just APO and has trickled into his other involvements such as NABA, the National Association of Black Accountants. As a current Executive Board member, he dedicates his time to make sure that this organization is a home for African American students at Bentley and is also a warm and welcoming home to others. He notes that his goal for NABA is for it to be a place for representation and vast career opportunities. As a current sophomore, Daniel is constantly looking up to seniors to help guide his Bentley path and hopes to be the same resource and mentor to others over the next two years. NABA is more than just a student involvement opportunity—to Daniel it’s a place of development for professionalism and social skills that carry on to future careers.
Daniel also dedicates his time as an Event Management Staff for Student Programs and Engagement. His favorite part of the job is embedded in the little ways that he gets to help Bentley students in Harry’s and the Student Center. Whether it is helping a student find their missing phone or setting up for an event – there is no task Daniel doesn’t tackle with 150% of his effort. His impact and positive influence on the team did not go unnoticed, as he was nominated as employee of the month within just two short months– a testament to his value on the team.
Expressing graciousness is a trait that Daniel exudes. He says, “My parents have been a driving force in who I am and who I want to be. They are a foundation in my support system and a powerful part of the story I live.” He hopes that his legacy at Bentley is painted by his everyday acts of kindness and led by the mission to be a light for others.
“Don’t let shadows of doubt or moments of darkness diminish your ability to be a kind heart in this world. If you can’t find a light, be the light that lets you and others keep moving forward – one act of kindness at a time.”