Kickin’ it with Sidekick: Kwasi Adu-Poku
Celebrating awesome entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs just like you. Learn from others’ stories, successes, advice, and action.
Meet Kwasi Adu-Poku! He is the proud founder of The Reach Series – an educational platform that promotes holistic personal development. Inspired by mental health challenges as a varsity basketball athlete at McMaster, Kwasi’s childhood dream was to help and empower others to see and achieve their possibilities. He recently completed his Masters of Public Policy and Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University, and now works for the province supporting Ontario’s homelessness programs.
Kwasi started his business during his undergraduate studies with the purpose of providing personal development opportunities to people looking to find themselves. The Reach Series touches on Kwasi’s diverse work, volunteer, advocacy, research, and lived experience to inform holistic approaches to leadership and wellness. The platform includes public speaking, workshops, resource sharing, and community events. More recently, The Reach Series sells custom apparel services to help individuals express themselves as portions of proceeds go towards charitable causes across the world.
His practical approaches to fulfillment resonate especially with youth, yet ultimately leave everyone feeling inspired and validated in their struggles. He approaches wellness through multiple angles and topics, thus making his platform unique. These include events and initiatives related to mental health, equity, academic success, athletics, intersectionality, financial literacy, and more. The Reach Series constantly finds intersections in different areas to inspire and educate people from all walks of life.
We love how The Reach Series stays true to its name by focusing on growth and development and really reaching for more in ourselves and society. Kwasi provided us with some thought-provoking answers when asked about his motivations and life journey. Check it out!
1. Was there an exact moment or experience that pushed you to start your organization? Tell us about it!
It was the summer of 2020. I just finished my 4th season with the McMaster Marauders. I had my best season both statistically and mentally. I spent the summer leading up to it in therapy as I started to take more action in addressing my mental health challenges. This helped me find empowerment on and off the basketball court. The weight that I was used to carrying on my shoulders lifted. I wanted to share this feeling with others. We all deserve to see how a shift in perspective can uplift us.
With the help of my mentor Vince Luciani, I was able to launch The Reach Series during the summer of 2020. I was hesitant and scared, but he pushed me to believe in my voice. Several workshops, public speaking events, and community events later, I haven’t turned back.
2. What are your sources of motivation and inspiration? How do you stay motivated/keep your cup full?
My main motivation is my family. Like many of us, my family has been there for me since the beginning. I feel their support in everything I do, and it continuously encourages me to give a little bit more.
I also find motivation by reflecting on my childhood. I faced challenges with self-esteem most of my life. One thing that got me going as a kid was imagining who I wanted to be as an adult. I wanted to be someone who could uplift people because I had such a deep understanding of what it meant to feel down. So, whenever I can impact people with my business, I feel like I’m making my younger self proud. That’s the energy that keeps me going.
3. Do you have a personal ethos that helps guide your decisions and choices? What is it and where did it come from?
With all my content and services, I ask myself if it will leave a positive impact on at least one person. This started from a lesson I learned from a mentor. He told me that if I even inspired one person simply by being myself, then that is a job well done. I create my content with this in mind. I express myself thoughtfully while being mindful of the fact that my message may touch someone who I may not even realize needs it most.
4. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on your entrepreneurial journey so far?
I’ve learned that developing your brand identity is the best way for your business to survive in its infancy. My public speaking, attending events and my content have continued to fall under the umbrella of personal development.
I have learned that a core aspect of my brand is tying in learning opportunities in a practical and expressive way. For example, some events have involved connecting financial literacy to wellness. Others have involved using anime and television to make connections to mental health. Both are different approaches, yet both promote wellness.
I enjoy the creative aspects of my business. I find fun in the grind that comes with it.
5. What advice would you give to future entre/intrapreneurs looking to make their mark on the world?
The more you reflect on your journey, your childhood, the problems you see in the world, and where you think your place is in addressing them, the closer you get to finding what it is that you want to do!
6. What type of superpower would you want to have? Why?
I want to learn how to fly. The idea of not being limited by anything, even gravity, feels so liberating. I would probably have to get a flying license, and sit in Service Ontario for a couple hours for some paperwork – but when I get that clearance, I’m ready!
Kwasi took his own life experiences to find his purpose in helping others. Through the incredible work delivered through his workshops, speaking engagements, and events, it is clear that Kwasi, The Reach Series and all of his endeavours are rooted in purpose and passion.