Ms. Juliana Ama Kplorfia, also known as GEM JULIA, started the GEM
journey in 2005, experimenting with her workers at her Exotik Delight Food
Joint and later expanding it into Exotik Girls Excellence Club in 2008,
subsequently led it into Girls Excellence Movement.
Ms. Kplorfia, is the last of 31 children of a polygamous village Chief. She was
born and schooled in Kwamekrom, a village in the Volta Region of Ghana,
where there was no electricity, no pipe-borne water, and classrooms were not
cemented. She first came to Accra, hiding behind a truckload of salted fish
baskets after completing Junior High School in 1996.
Ms. Kplorfia grew up in an environment where girls were limited to the kitchen
and groomed only for marriage. She recounts, “most of my friends dropped
out of school for the lack of support, others fell out as a result of teenage
pregnancy, and others simply lacked the inspiration and motivation to succeed
beyond what they see around” But she survived due largely to her
determination to succeed, meandering through street hawking, and domestic
help to Senior High School to begin a journey that transformed her life.
Ms. Kplorfia is passionate about issues concerning girls, especially those in deprived communities and has therefore been engaged in peer mentoring since she was 10 years old. She started engaging in girls’ development and empowerment outreach programs in 2008, with Dorcas Maabena Djumah whom she met in public transport. Ms. Mavis Esenam Agbenyo came along that same year and they have worked to build the Girls Excellence Movement (GEM), impacting girls with a program dubbed, Inspiration-On-Wheels. In 2019, while pursuing an Executive Master of Public Administration Program jointly run by the New York University and the University College London on Pentland-Churchill Fellowship program for Global Policy Leaders, Ms. Kplorfia met Afua York, PhD. She describes Afua as a pathfinder. They bonded over shared values of transparent, honest and open communication and a common desire to build capacity for underprivileged girls everywhere, especially in Ghana. The two went ahead to register GEM as a non-profit in the USA, secured IRS tax-exempt status, and also created the STEM-DRIVEN-GIRL, a STEM-focused module to inspire girls to aspire to careers in STEM.
Ms. Kplorfia believes if a woman is not fully awakened to her true capabilities, no amount of opportunity thrown at her will change her life, hence she advocates for and engages in capacity building for girls to help them discover their potential and equip them to develop it for a better life.
Ms. Kplorfia serves on the following Boards & Committees:
The Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies, Virginia, USA.
MUSIGA Presidential Grand Ball, Accra, Ghana.
The Ghana Gulf Chamber of Commerce, Accra, Ghana.
Expert Projects & Protocols GH, Accra, Ghana.
The Health Intelligence PLC, Washington DC, USA.
National Celebrations Planning Committee, Presidency, Accra, Ghana.
Steering Committee in charge of State Visits, Presidency, Accra, Ghana.