Patrick Quainoo, 65, is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Fedup Express Corporation, a shipping and trucking company based in Georgia, which he began in 2022. He is additionally the CEO of Patriq Group LLC, an immigration assistance and consultancy organization that he began in 2018, and was the CEO of Patriq Green Limited, a company responsible for negotiating and securing government contracts, from 2007 to 2015.

He is also the founder and senior pastor of Christian Faith Ministries, Inc., USA, International Christian Faith Ministries in Accra, Ghana, and Founder and CEO of Patrick Quainoo Global Ministries. Prior to that he participated in international sales, banking, and customer service/international relations at various companies.

His business acumen has taken him around the world to forty-three countries. Currently living in Georgia, he can add another title to his impressive list — Temple University graduate and University College Graduation Ceremony Student Speaker on May 9.

"It has been a long road to get here, but it means so much to me to have been chosen as the student speaker for our graduation ceremony," said Quainoo, who is among the third cohort to graduate from the Bachelor of General Studies program offered by Temple University University College. "It is an exciting time for me. I will be speaking to my graduating peers as an immigrant student, a father, a husband, a friend, a world traveler, a weekly broadcast teacher of the gospel, and a faith-filled child of God."

As he prepares to cross the finish line, the culmination of an academic career that has spanned years, Quainoo said there are "three areas that I would like to talk about and encourage my fellow graduates."

"Have faith — one way of the other, faith has brought us all to this moment. Sometimes we do not even think about it, that we are exercising faith in what we are doing every day," he said. "Faith keeps us going, it moves us toward what we want to accomplish. I also want to talk about hope, about keeping hope alive. I like to say that we are faithful today, but we have hope for tomorrow."

Quainoo said he will also speak about a special type of resilience that Temple University embodies.

"You must make it happen for yourself. Years ago, when I was first at Temple, we talked about it as taking the 'Temple Challenge,'" he said. "As students, young, old, or somewhere in between, when we graduate, challenges are inevitable. We should never forget the resilience of the Temple spirit."

Quainoo's journey to completing his degree started in 1998, he said, when he began taking courses at Temple's Fox School of Business. A family emergency prevented him from completing the degree at the time.

"Family must come first, and I felt I could go back to school when the time was right, though there were moments over the years I thought I'd never get here," he said. "When I was ready to continue, I learned about the Bachelor of General Studies program, which was a great avenue for me to complete my degree. I have been incredibly happy with my experiences in the program — (Dr.) Nicole (Nathan, Assistant Professor and Faculty Director for the Bachelor of General Studies) is one of the best mentors."

Quainoo said what drew him back to the classroom "is that I like to finish what I start."

"My philosophy and my policy are that it is not how you start, but how you finish. I particularly like the finishing part because the finishing part is what describes me — that is what leaves the impression in the minds of people," he said. "I am not getting the degree to look for a job — I am already involved in work that I love; I am the CEO of two different companies. But there is lot I am gaining from completing the degree that will be part of how I approach my businesses every day. The writing-intensive course I am taking with Professor Nathan, for example, has polished my way of writing and I am really enjoying that."

Originally from Ghana, Quainoo said his father, Frankie Quainoo, who was a diplomatic liaison between Ghana and the United States, sparked his interest in moving to the US, though he returned to Ghana for 10 years later in life to pursue business opportunities.

"The stories and clothes he brought from America; he painted a picture of a better life for me," he said. "Today, I am always looking for opportunities to create jobs for people. I am always looking for avenues where I can help people."

When he made the decision to return to Temple to complete his degree, Quainoo said it was "very easy to get back into the classroom."

"The staff at Temple provided great guidance. They helped me realize I was just one class away from completing the degree and I wanted to put everything I could into the course. Since this is the last class for me, I think I have taken the opportunity to dedicate more time to it because I really want to finish strong," he said. "With education, you can never stop learning. Whenever I have left something undone, I like to go back and finish it — it was particularly important to me to finish this goal."

Along the way, he has had the unwavering support of his wife, a journalist, Joyce Quainoo "who works constantly to help me be a better person," and his three children, Robert, 26, Joshua, 19, and Rebekah, 17. The family will be there with him to celebrate his achievement and the achievements of his fellow students. He also has few other priorities in mind for the trip.

"We're coming to Philly and I'm getting a Philly cheesesteak at Geno's," he laughed. "I will also get original Philly pretzels!"

Ask him how he has managed to balance it all — work responsibilities, classwork, and family — and Quainoo will candidly tell you he has no idea. His approach to each given day, however, sheds light on how he has managed to persevere.

"I get up in the morning and thank the man upstairs for giving me another day and I dedicate the whole day in his hands and for him to give me the energy and the ability to do what I can do," he said. "That is how I live my life. I just want to do everything I can to be a blessing to humanity and humankind."

His advice to others, particularly adults, seeking to return to the classroom is "don't be afraid."

"There is always the opportunity for you to be successful if you do not come into it being afraid. Approach your goals knowing that you will accomplish what you set out to do," he said. "That resilience, that faith, that hope will get you to your goal."

The Bachelor of General Studies is designed for learners with prior college and at least sixty transferable credits who are ready to complete their undergraduate degree. The 120-credit bachelor's program focuses on creating a solid foundation for a wide variety of careers and it allows students the opportunity to customize their degree path. Learn more about the Bachelor of General Studies here.