Soccer players of all ages know the importance of goals.
Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie has himself aimed at some lofty ones.
A native of Accra, Ghana, his acumen for reaching them began at a young age. Despite his smaller stature, he played club soccer, at the age of seven, with children three years his elder.
"I grew up with siblings (in soccer) and my mom and dad loved (the sport)," he reminisced. "I knew I wanted to play it, too, after watching my brothers and sisters. I was tiny, but I was determined and passionate about it.
Growing up with my speed and abilities, despite my size, coaches had me located all over the field," he added. "I played a bunch of positions. Due to that, those experiences helped me (moving forward)."
The desire and passion for the beautiful game made the journey with him from his hometown to North Manchester.
"I did struggle somewhat (as a freshman) but everything was new," he said. "I also hadn't been playing for six months (due to injuries), and I was trying to make the adjustment to college and so on.
This last year, I was able to do some offseason work in all facets (goal scoring, passing, possession, etc.)," he added. "I really wanted to concentrate on making sure when I was on the field that I was giving the best effort. I like to sit back and reflect during matches when I'm coming off (the pitch), too, as that allows me to think through situations and help the team out."
Desire and passion have also been keys on two other journeys for Tetteh-Quarshie. The first of which was making the nearly 6,000-mile trek from his homeland to Wabash County.
"Originally, I had wanted to stay near Accra, but my score on the West African Examination didn't allow me to go into neuroscience," he noted. "My parents kept pushing me … saying I could still do something with college and take the SAT. I enrolled in a class to assist with the process and wound up getting a good score.
From there, it was a matter of searching schools online," he added. "Manchester University seemed like a good fit, and (former Success Center office manager) Sandy Bendsen turned out to be like a mom to me through our conversations, as she worked with us over each phase of the application process. Since coming here, I've felt at home … it was the best decision I could have made."
The second deals with what could be a groundbreaking idea for his hometown, homeland and beyond.
"(In Accra and around Ghana), many children are born with neurological disorders," he said. "I've seen some of them … it's tough for them, as they so badly want to be involved with soccer and many other things. Families cannot afford surgery, but I feel with the assistance of Doctors without Borders and other organizations that a foundation can be put into place to offer free surgery (in these cases). I just want to help out (in any way possible) and make a difference … neuroscience is something I have a lot of passion and desire for, so it's the way I can do so."
Setting, reaching and developing goals … Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie's way of using his passion and desire for good on and off the field.