From poverty to the Olympics, WKU track star excels in the classroom too

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A Western Kentucky senior who competed in last summer’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro is making just as big of an impression in the classroom as he does on the track.

He grew up in West Africa in extreme poverty. But when Emmanuel Dasor began to run in high school (with no shoes on) he just knew it was going to take him places. It has. And he’s learning how to use his story to motivate others.

“WKU was the one that embraced me, believed in me, gave me scholarship and knew I would do great," he said.

Dasor has made his mark in WKU athletics.

“Did my part, four conference championships since I’ve been here, seven-time All American to world champion, Olympian, I think it’s a great achievement," Dasor said.

He’s also making his mark in academics.

“Leadership is about influence to be able to lead a group.”

“He is a person who sees value in leaders and understands their importance and how they can make or break someone’s experience. He does that on track and off track, in class and out of class.”

After starting out in architecture then switching to accounting, Dasor said the chance to speak at his high school in Ghana got him thinking about another career.

“First time I realized I have that influence on people when I talk, that motivated me," he said. "I think leadership is my thing.”

Dasor has continued to share his compelling story in Bowling Green.

“I told them how lucky they are to go to school, not barefooted and eat three times in a day and have a place to sleep and not worry about anything," Dasor said.

“He’s very vocal, his experiences in Ghana and what he’s experienced in his life brings such an enrichment to the class and discussion we have.”

While his collegiate career is over, Dasor continues to run professionally. He trains at WKU and is soaking up all the education he can.

“At the end of the day education is the key. I have my gifts and I have my talents that I use," he said. "You can take my gift but you can’t take my knowledge.”

Dasor, who holds five school records in track at WKU, will graduate in December and begin working on his Masters in January.

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