On Volunteer Day, CCI Student Mathew Kutina Talks Serving the Local Community

December 5, 2023

International Volunteer Day on December 5 raises awareness about the importance of volunteering, celebrating the contributions of volunteers worldwide and right here at NOVA. In recognition of this important day, meet Mathew Kutina, an international student from Ghana and current NOVA Nighthawk. Mathew sees volunteering as an opportunity to learn and grow.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a dedicated information technology student with a passion for building a solid career in the ever-evolving world of technology. Back in Ghana, I live with my extended family with over 20 people. My biological parents never had the chance to go to school; they are peasant farmers. I never thought in my life that I could have gotten this far!

What brought you to NOVA?
I found my way to NOVA through the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State for a 10-month stay at NOVA.

In Ghana, I was nominated for the program due to my hard work, active participation in school and volunteer work to help struggling students.

What are you studying?
I am in the IT Technical Support CSC program, and I see NOVA as the perfect launchpad for my career in the IT industry.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I'm actively involved in volunteering. I have contributed 130 hours to various causes, and I will continue to do so!

Volunteering offers an opportunity to expand my educational horizons beyond IT while positively impacting the community.

Tell us about your experience at NOVA (i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met). 
Reflecting on my experience at NOVA on the Annandale Campus, I think highly of the professors who have played a crucial role in shaping my educational journey. The supportive and knowledgeable faculty at NOVA have imparted technical skills and inspired me to strive for excellence in the field.

As for the social aspect of college life, I’ve made meaningful connections with fellow students who share my passion for technology. These friendships have added a valuable dimension to my college experience, creating a network of like-minded individuals who inspire and challenge each other.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?
For prospective NOVA students, I would encourage them to embrace the diverse opportunities that NOVA offers, both academically and socially. Building connections with professors and fellow students and actively participating in extracurricular activities can significantly enrich their college experience.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?
Looking ahead, I envision a future where my NOVA education propels me into becoming a successful IT professional. With a strong foundation in IT support and a wealth of experience gained through volunteering, I’ll be well-equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of the technology industry.

Since 2007, the CCI Program has hosted more than 3,500 participants from 22 countries. This U.S. Department of State program is administered by Northern Virginia Community College in cooperation with the NOVA-led Community College Consortium. For further information, please contact Leeza Fernand, director for CCI, at LFernand@nvcc.edu. Contact the NOVA CCI Team at CCCIP@nvcc.edu and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov.

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