Student Who Immigrated from Ghana Finds Home at Bloch School

Mentorship and guidance elevate Greg Seaton’s success

Greg Seton immigrated from Ghana where he’d spent most of his young life in a refugee camp. As he prepares for graduate school, education, hard work and mentorship have been the key to Seton’s growing success.

While Seton has found his place in Kansas City, his transition was not an easy one.

“My whole family did not come to the United States,” he says. “My mom, sister and my older brother are still in Africa.”

He and his father moved in with their family members in Kansas City, and Seton felt lucky to have his cousins and other family members for support. He was in the English as a Second Language program at school, which helped with his transition as well.

“There were people interacting from various backgrounds, so I was able to relate to them better,” he says. “Then I was able to branch out from that group. It was a good starting point.”

“As I grew older, I realized that I’m a people person. I like to help people. I like to see them succeed, and I also like to lead.” – Gregory Seton

Finding his way and making the most of opportunities is a skill that Seton has developed. While he was a student at Cristo Rey High School, an urban school in Kansas City that provides college and career preparation to diverse students with economic need, he developed a mentor/mentee relationship with Bill Thompson his sophomore year.

“When I met Greg, he was very quiet,” Thompson says. “He wasn’t involved in many activities, but he had friends and was well-respected and liked. He had a real sense of himself.”

Seton shared stories with Thompson about what his life had been like in Africa.

“He walked two miles to school and stopped to fish for his family’s dinner on the way home. I don’t know anyone who makes better decisions about his life.”

“I don’t know anyone who makes better decisions about his life.”– Bill Thompson

When Seton graduated from Cristo Rey, he and Thompson decided to join Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“They provide a lot of help with support and resources,” Seton says.

Seton enrolled in Metropolitan Community College and considered schools out of state to complete his degree.

“I had a good advisor who told me I should apply for the Bloch Scholarship. She said, ‘Greg, you are a wonderful student. I see that you are trying and I know you have a great future ahead of you. You should apply for the (Henry W.) Bloch Scholars Program.’”

Seton received a scholarship and began studying business management. He found that the faculty has been incredibly supportive to his success.

“UMKC is awesome,” Seton says. “I can’t interact much on campus just because I work full-time and have a wife and daughter at home. But the people that I’ve met, and the teachers that I have communicated with have all been amazing.”

“I’m learning a lot of real-life skills. I’ll be helping people fix problems. This is the right choice and the right degree.” Gregory Seton

Before he came to UMKC, Seton had an interest in engineering, but he realized that management makes more sense for him.

“When I was a kid, I was always looking through trash for things I could take apart and see how they worked, which led to my interest in engineering,” he says. “As I grew older, I realized that I’m a people person. I like to help people. I like to see them succeed, and I also like to lead.”

He sees the business world as a way to utilize these skills. Thompson says Seton has always knows what he needs to do.

“I don’t know anyone who makes better decisions about his life,” says Thompson. “I didn’t envision he’d be where he is now, but his future is right there for him.”

Seton seems equally sure of his path to success.

“I enjoy the classes I’m taking,” he says. “I’m learning a lot of real-life skills. I’ll be helping people fix problems. This is the right choice and the right degree.”