By Robin Chandler ’87
Detroit City FC player Francis Atuahene ’15 made a special trip last month to speak with second-graders at Detroit Achievement Academy about growing up in Ghana, playing professional soccer, and his time at Hotchkiss.
He was invited by fellow alumna Alexandra Rawlings ’14.“For our first module in English Language Arts, the second-graders at Detroit Achievement Academy talk about schools around the world,” Rawlings explained. “We focus on challenges different communities face with sending students to school and the different solutions their communities have found.
“I asked Francis to come in and talk to my class about growing up and going to school in Ghana,” Rawlings continued. “His strong goals surrounding his education were an inspiration to me, and I knew they would resonate with my class. My students were amazed at how working hard in school and staying committed to your passions can land you a spot at Hotchkiss, University of Michigan, and on the MLS in Detroit.”
Atuahene played his collegiate career at the University of Michigan, where he earned several conference honors and spending part of 2017 with the Michigan Bucks. The Accra, Ghana, native left school early to enter the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, where he was selected fourth overall by FC Dallas. In his MLS debut, Atuahene scored just 42 seconds after subbing on, which was the second-quickest debut goal in MLS history.
Over the past six years, Atuhane has played for multiple professional teams, including the Montreal Impact, Oklahoma Energy and the Tulsa Roughnecks. Last March, as a bit of a welcome home, Atuahene signed with Michigan’s Detroit City FC.
At Hotchkiss, Atuahene was a standout soccer player, co-captaining the team in his senior year alongside Nicky Downs ’15, another semi-professional soccer player who plays for Loudoun United FC in Leesburg, VA. Atuahene graduated from Hotchkiss in 2015 with a handful of athletic accolades, including a New England Championship in soccer as well as a handful of Founders League titles both in soccer and track and field.