Demon of the Day: Benjamin Danquah

Georgia Mynatt , Reporter

Sometimes the most fascinating people with the most compelling stories may not be perceived as very interesting. The outward appearance of one tells only part of the story, but there is always more under the surface. Benjamin Danquah, a security guard at DHS, usually referred to by students as Benjie, has a life full of stories waiting to be heard.

Benjie spent his childhood living in Ghana, a country in West Africa. “My life was really peaceful compared to most African countries torn up by numerous and continuous wars and unrests,” said Danquah. He did not attend college; after high school he moved to  Switzerland where he dedicated his time towards faith based social justice work.

He traveled to many different countries and would take different post high school college students to practice humanitarian work. “I spent most of my adult life doing social justice work and thought it was really fun. It was sort of a substitute for college and I learned so much from it,” Danquah says.

In 2005 Danquah moved to the United States to get married and has been here ever since. He first lived in Durango for four years, and then moved to Los Angeles for four years. He then moved back to Durango and stayed for two years but left again. As of March, Benjie has moved back for the third and – as DHS students hope – final time.

Danquah says that one of his favorite jobs was working at a coffee shop called Peet’s Coffee in San Francisco. “I absolutely loved it, it was awesome. People would come through everyday so I really enjoyed that,” Danquah says. He learned how to have a positive mindset and how meaningful being friendly is during his time spent there.

After living in Switzerland for two and a half years, Danquah decided it was time for a change. “When I read the job opening for a security guard here at DHS I thought, oh my gosh that’s totally me even though I had not the slightest bit of knowledge about security,” says Danquah. For him, he felt the job was more of being present and engaging with students, which he loves.

Taking the position as a security officer at the school was a risk for Danquah, but now he loves it. “Being friendly, welcoming and helping people feel comfortable are some things that I really enjoy,” the SO says.

Benjie says some of his favorite things about being a security officer are showing up in the morning and greeting everyone and making students feel safe, comfortable, and not afraid to talk to him. “I love lifting people up and making them feel like they’re valuable and worth it. Because everyone is and needs to know that,” he states.

It was hard for Benjie to find something he didn’t like about his job but he finally did. “It would have to be when students are in trouble, I hate busting them,” he admits. It’s hard for Benjie because it’s essential to his job but he never likes seeing kids in trouble.  

“I hope I have a positive impact on their lives, because they definitely have one on mine. They make me feel so welcomed and always make my day brighter. They’ve really shown and taught me so much,” Danquah says.

Being a security officer has opened Benjie’s eyes to how much students are dealing with. “I think everyone should really try to listen more and get to know the people around them better,” he says. He believes that sometimes people really need a helping hand and you should be the person who reaches out. Students should be more aware of other people and what they are going through.

By outward appearance, Benjamin Danquah is just a high school security guard. But below the surface, he has many life lessons and experiences to share.