Sir Dave Jah Gets Masters On Sunday, 16th May 2010, the man who had travelled almost pennilessly in search of education that requires millions of pennies was a proud recipient of a Masters of Arts in Clinical Counseling Psychology from the prestigious LaSalle University. Dave Toh Jah was amongst over one thousand students who received degrees in various disciplines.
Almost ten years ago he entered the United States of America on a student visa hoping to continue his studies in biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He had thirty United States dollars in his pocket, probably in his entire life. After spending two days on the campus with a family friend, he decided to return to Bucks County, Pa where his sister resided. He could not afford the barest dormitory fees, needless to think about the semester’s tuition and fees of $16,000.00.
But this was not the first time that he had made such unconventional venture in search of higher education. In 1996, he travelled to the Northern Nigerian State of Sokoto to attend the Usmanu Danfodiyo University. This was after he had learned that education in Northern Nigeria was affordable and scholarships were available from the Federal Government of Nigeria for Liberian refugees. He was met with a roadblock, money. So he returned to the Oru Refugee Camp near N’Jebo Ode in the South of Nigeria then later Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.
As child he travelled with his brothers and sisters for ten years on a two hour (to and fro) bush path to the major town for his kindergarten, elementary, and junior high education. Following his junior high education, he travelled to Monrovia where he attended Monrovia College and Industrial Training school. In 1987 he entered the University of Liberia, Department of Biology. His goal was to become a medical doctor but was forced to abandon his studies as the result of the Liberian war. He fled to the republic of Guinea, then later the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana. While in Ghana he studied agriculture and was awarded certificate.
In 2003 he got his Associate in psychology from Bucks County Community College then earned his BA in psychology from Temple University. In fall of 2005 he was enrolled at LaSalle University as a part time student. For his entire academic sojourn, he worked full time and paid for his education out of pocket.
The one time pastor of the Church of Soromiata, school instructor, school principal, and author was flanked by an array of family members, friends, and well wishers including the erudite Dugbae River Union secretary General, Aaron J. Manneh, the Managing Director of the famous Sloh Information Services (SIS). Details will follow in our subsequent report.