SSOS in GhanaAs Joshua Yaro walked down one of the hallways at our Voice of America headquarters, he saw the photo on the left hanging on a wall and stopped to take a closer look.

“I played on pitches just like that when I was growing up,” said Yaro, who recently completed his first season with the men’s soccer team at Georgetown University here in Washington.

The photo was taken in Kumasi, Ghana, where Joshua is from and where he first began kicking the ball on dusty, rock hard pitches.

Joshua says in 2006, he joined Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy, which says at its website that it “seeks to discover and nurture role models through education, sport and character development.”

In a video interview with VOA, Joshua said Right to Dream helps develop young Ghanaians into future leaders who some day can give back to the country.

Joshua says he’s planning to return to Ghana after he gets his degree from Georgetown and “hopefully have a positive impact on my community.”

Joshua (#5) in action for Georgetown in a match against Creighton University.

Joshua (#5) in action for Georgetown in a match against Creighton University.

He says he’s interested in government and is studying international relations at the university.

Before being recruited by Georgetown, Yaro played soccer and competed in track and field at the Cate School in California.

Joshua’s speed on the pitch helped make him one of the top

Joshua and Sonny in VOA's Studio 52.

Joshua and Sonny in VOA’s Studio 52.

defenders in U.S. collegiate soccer during his freshman season.

Even though he missed four matches with a broken arm, had Yaro ranked #3 among freshman players in the country.

Joshua says he is also interested in a professional football career, but he knows if those dreams don’t work out, he is getting a “wonderful education at Georgetown,” knowledge that he plans to take back to Ghana.