Nigeria Student Profiles

We are extremely proud of our students' drive, determination, great achievements and successes, all highlighted by their profiles below.

More, updated and latest Nigerian student profiles are listed on the main website. See ALL Nigeria Student Profiles.

Odaro Omusi
University of Notre Dame '11

Odaro Omusi Odaro comes from a culturally diverse family that unites both southern and northern Nigeria with his father hailing from Benin in Edo state and his mother from Kaduna. However, he has spent most of his life in metropolitan Lagos.
He was a student of Loyola Jesuit College, one of the top secondary schools in the country where he excelled by graduating in the top five percent of his class and achieving the best result in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations. He was thereafter admitted into Usap where he realized the opportunities abroad that his hard work had opened up for him.

He is studying for a bachelors degree in electrical engineering. At Notre Dame, he is an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He also participates in intramural sports including indoor and outdoor soccer. Interestingly, most of his time away from his books and engineering projects is spent on the dance floor because in his search to diversify his talents, he joined Project Fresh, the Notre Dame urban dance crew, where he has quickly learned both freestyle and break dancing and now performs at school events ranging from football pep rallies to charity events.

Odaro believes that his potential and fascination with electrical systems will drive him past all obstacles to excel in the US as he did in West Africa. He looks to fortify his education by participating in the Notre Dame-London engineering study abroad program in 2009 and by interning with technology firms not only in the US but also in Nigeria where he wants to spend the greater part of his career working with communication systems.

Temitope Tabitha Ojo
Mount Holyoke College '11

Temitope Tabitha Ojo Temitope Tabitha Ojo is a Nigerian sophomore (2010) currently attending Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She hails from Ondo State, South West Nigeria but has lived in the country's capital, Abuja most of her life. She is a Biochemistry major and an Anthropology minor, while fulfilling pre-med requirements at college. She is an active member of the Mount Holyoke Track and Field Team, co-chair of MHC SAAFE (Substance Abuse Awareness or Everyone) on campus and a Peer Career Advisor at the college's Career Development Center. In the summer of 2007, she was a recipient of the HHMI-Yale Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and researched at Yale University.

Her dream is to write and travel round the world, while practicing medicine with a focus on epidemics, infectious diseases and community health. In the future, she hopes to feature in the National Geographic magazine. She is a music lover and enjoys them in several languages. She also has an appreciation for art and history, especially in culture, music and dance.

Temitope comes from a family of six, having three siblings. She attended Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja, Nigeria for her high school education.

Tomiwa Osunkoya
Lafayette College '11

Tomiwa Osunkoya Tomiwa Osunkoya is a Usap student from Nigeria. She comes from Ogun State and is the first child in a family of three. She graduated from Loyola Jesuit College in Nigeria in 2006. She is currently a student at Lafayette College majoring in Chemical Engineering. Apart from a being a student, she is also a teaching assistant for a chemistry course in her college. One of her goals in life is to be the best of what she is and so with chemical engineering she hopes to be one of the best in her field and use her knowledge to help develop her country. She has been a member of the Nigerian Children's Parliament since 2003. This organization works under the Ministry of Women Affairs and its goal is to make the Nigerian child's voice heard by the Government in whatever decisions they make. When she graduates, she also wants to be a big support to that group by helping the Nigerian child in whatever way possible, especially through proper education.

Her hobbies are listening to music and delving into the cultures of wide array of countries. She believes strongly in the aspect of unity in diversity and plans on improving her social life and knowledge by associating with other people from various cultures.

Israel Ukawuba
Oberlin College '11

Israel Ukawuba The fourth son in a family of seven children, Israel Ukawuba, a graduate of Legacy High School, is currently a student of Oberlin College, Ohio. He intends to double major in Environmental studies and Engineering.
Moreso, he plans on pursuing a career in Conceptual Engineering with a focus on Earth and Environment Engineering after he graduates. His important achievements are remaining focused on his passion and realizing the opportunities he has to take advantage so as to gain fulfillment in his career pursuit. His achievements in high school, he sees as an elevation to acknowledge where his future lies.

His passion, is interfaced with his dream of leading a positive life in the cause of environmentalism and the management of energy resources. In his own words,

"I see my future as an extensive pathway of realizable courses to affect my natural society and to find resolution for my country’s environment’s health status. I strongly believe in the race to remedy our communities of the harm of global warming; thus our communal perspective and culture should be that humanity's fate is not divorced from that of the natural world, and that our responsibility to nature is - at best - limited to the satisfaction and our concern for the conservation and improvement of our natural environment, local, regional and world-wide".

A young man from Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria, his hobbies include reading and playing the guitar. He intends to join The Environmental Policy Implementation Group (EPIG) in college and to start an environmental theme-house on campus, whose occupants will use the least appropriate amount of energy and minimize energy waste.

Victor Babatunde
Bates College '11

Victor Babatunde Victor is a Nigerian who hails from Kwara state but has spent all his life in Lagos. He has 3 younger siblings that are residing in Lagos. He intends to major in Biochemistry and Physics and complete a concentration in Applied Mathematics. He is currently the convener and the co-coordinator of the Africana club on campus. He is also an active member of the Benjamin E. Mays Men group which is involved in carrying on the legacy of Dr. Benjamin Mays. He is actively involved with the Bates Christian Fellowship as well as the Bates Chapel committee. He also has been learning to sing at the Chapel services. Victor does volunteer work with the Trinity Jubilee Center where he gives after-school homework assistance to Somali kids in Lewiston. He has also done volunteer work with the Root Cellar organization in distributing coats to the needy during winter. Victor is also a member of the Student Pugwash USA- a science-minded organization. He hopes to establish a chapter of this organization in Bates.

Victor has a career goal of becoming a medical doctor with specialization in pathology. He hopes to use the skills and knowledge he acquires in the field of medicine to help eliminate poverty-induced diseases in developing nations. His also dreams of seeing the African continent United.

Victor's hobbies include reading scientific journals, listening to music, having interesting conversations with people, attending conferences and seminars both on and off campus. He plays intramural soccer and also enjoys snow-sledding.

Jacinta Edebeli
Mount Holyoke College '11

Jacinta Edebeli Jacinta Edebeli comes from Anegbette Village of Edo state, Nigeria. She graduated from Delta Steel Primary School in 1999 and from Loyola Jesuit College in 2005. At Loyola she was an active athlete. She played basketball, soccer, handball, and ran the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and did long jump. She represented Nigeria in the 2005 Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad in Algeria. She spent two years at the Federal University of Technology Owerri before coming to the United States.

She is presently a dual degree student studying Environmental Studies at Mount Holyoke College and Civil and Environmental Engineering in a joint program with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is very passionate about the environment and works towards the conservation of natural resources especially water as well as pollution control. She continues in the spirit of athletics by being an active member of the Mount Holyoke track and field team where she does sprints and throws the javelin. She is a Mount Holyoke Sarah Williston Scholar. She is also a member of the University of Massachusetts Steel bridge team and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Her motto in life is "Work as if all depends on you, pray as if all depends on God" which she learned from Loyola Jesuit College.

Adaora Nnaji
Mount Holyoke College '12

Adaora Nnaji Adaora Nnaji comes from Enugu State, Nigeria but lived in Lagos all her life. She is an Economics major and International Relations minor. She is treasurer for the Newman Board at Mount Holyoke College and a Take the Lead mentor. As a Take the Lead mentor, she serves as a personal coach to high school students across the country. "The optimism and energy of the teens is an inspiration", she says. "Helping my mentee figure out the concrete steps to achieving her action project teaches me so much about how people working together can make a difference. By helping others you become more inspired yourself." Adaora is also an active member of the Mount Holyoke Chorale, an ensemble that performs a wide variety of literature - for womens' and mixed voices - in different venues throughout the year.

Adaora became a Usap participant during her second year in high school because of her high academic records and leadership qualities. She won several awards and represented France under the Security Council in the Nigerian Model United Nations Conference. In collaboration with the Franciscan sisters of the Immaculate, she helped cater for lepers in Ijebu - Igbo, Ogun State, Nigeria by helping build a colony and raising money. Adaora also speaks and writes fluently in French. One of her goals in life is to be a diplomat and be a source of inspiration to young women by helping to turn their ideas into action. She graduated from Queens College Nigeria in 2007. She enjoys reading books especially Classics. Her hobbies are swimming and playing basketball. She has an appreciation for history and art.

Mary-Ann Juma
Armherst College '12

Mary-Ann Juma Mary-Ann is a smart young lady who laughs easily and talks a lot. She describes herself as a risk taker and someone who likes to be different from the crowd. This is evident in her varied hobbies and interests (such as photography, computers and electronic gadgets, reading thriller/suspense novels, puzzles, music and table tennis) and her love for adrenaline and learning new things. She also enjoys helping other students academically and has worked as a tutor for children preparing to enter into secondary schools in different parts of Nigeria .

Though her parents are from Billiri, Gombe State in North-eastern Nigeria, Mary-Ann was born in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city. She has lived there ever since. She is the second child in a family of four children who are all girls. She has also enjoyed the benefits of attending and graduating from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja (which is reputed to be Nigeria's best secondary school) on a full merit-based scholarship for her performance as best girl in the school's entrance examination. She was actively involved in various aspects of the school's life such as the choir, the female soccer team and publications. She has won various national and state competitions in Nigeria such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Science Quiz for Secondary Schools and the Cowbell National Mathematics Competition for Secondary Schools. Through Usap, she was able to effectively channel her involvement in high school activities and her academic achievements into packaging excellent applications that secured her admissions into prestigious colleges in the United States.

After her completion of her undergraduate degree at Amherst, Mary-Ann plans to establish an IT company that will provide creative solutions and services for firms and companies in various sectors of the Nigerian economy. She plans to try to spread the use of alternative energy sources in Nigeria such as solar energy which will help reduce dependence on hydrocarbons as an energy source and bring about more cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness in homes and business firms as Nigeria strives to become one of the world's top twenty economies by the year 2020.

John Yusufu
Harvard College '12

John Yusufu Yusufu John is a Nigerian Usap participant from Fika in Yobe State. He had his primary school education at Our Lady's in Maiduguri before moving on to Loyola Jesuit College on full scholarship for his secondary education. While at Loyola, John was the Senior Prefect as well as the Captain of the school's boys soccer team. He represented his school in many competitions such as the Capital Science Quiz Competition and was part of the Abuja team that won the 2007 Nigerian National Petroleum Company Quiz Competition. John has received many academic and sports awards both within and outside Loyola. He was the overall best academic student, best in chemistry, most science oriented, as well as the scholar athlete of his graduating class.

As a result of his family's poor financial background, John was admitted into Usap in 2007. Using the program's effective resources, he has gained admission into Harvard College. He has chosen to pursue a course in Chemical Engineering at Harvard and hopes to work at one of the major petroleum companies within Nigeria after graduation to discover better ways of processing crude oil without as much environmental pollution. He will definitely be playing soccer while at Harvard.

Joseph Ekpenyong
Bates College '12

Joseph Ekpenyong The last child in a loving family of five children, Joseph never contemplated a United States higher education. He is a native of Ita Uruan in Akwa Ibom State, South South Nigeria, but his family stays in Uyo, Akwa Ibom. In 2001, Joseph got admitted as the best student into Nigeria's topmost federal secondary school, Federal Government Academy (Centre for the Gifted and Talented), where every student is on a full scholarship. He represented the school in many mathematics and science competitions. He also served as the Academy's library prefect and was popular for emphasizing an all-round education books, sports, leadership, etc. Joseph had the best result in the final exams in his school year. He will forever be remembered at the Academy for his teaching qualities, ever-smiling face, and good sense of appreciation.

While considering taking a year out before proceeding to higher education, Joseph got unexpectedly admitted into Usap. As a Usap participant, his potentials were unleashed. He was admitted into Bates College where he plans to study mathematics. As a requirement for his graduation, he also hopes to complete a secondary concentration in education at Bates College. He definitely will engage in many extracurricular activities from soccer to information technology clubs to education- related trips at Bates.

Joseph's long-term career goals are certainly related to education. He hopes to use his experience at Bates to help Nigerian students feel more comfortable with mathematics. He loves participating in and organizing competitions for students. Joseph also hopes in the future to help students who have been written off by parents and teachers.

Joseph Aboki
Massachusetts Institute of Technology '12

Joseph Aboki Although everyone who knew him as a child would have agreed that this kid was meant for great things, no one, not even the optimistic Joseph, could have ever contemplated that an MIT degree was well within his reach. Joseph is a native of Donga Local government area in Taraba state but has lived most of his life in Kaduna. The last child in a family of seven, he has two elder brothers and two elder sisters.

He was a student at the Federal Government College Kaduna where he excelled by graduating as the best student in his class and achieving the best result in the West African secondary school certificate examination. As the Public Relations Officer of his school's JETS club and an active member of the Mathematics club, he led his school to victory in several science and mathematics competitions. Thereafter, he was admitted into Usap where his perseverance and hard work earned him an admission into MIT to study chemical engineering.

Joseph is currently a member of the student chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Someday he hopes to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He loves soccer and Manchester United, watching television and also enjoys reading novels.

After obtaining his doctorate degree from MIT, Joseph intends to come back to Nigeria and champion the team of engineers that will transform the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into one of the world's largest global energy providers. In his own words,

Malate-Ann Atajiri
Bryn College '12

Malate-Ann Atajiri Malate-Ann Atajiri hails from Gombe State. She is Tangale by tribe. Ann comes from a family of four children (two boys then two girls). She is the last born. She strongly believes in the ideology that "you either make the right decision or you make the decision right."

Ann graduated from the prestigious Loyola Jesuit College, one of the leading secondary schools in Nigeria where she started to lay her foundations in excellence. Right from a young age, Ann has always been interested in nursing her younger ones and even senior ones back to full health. This has led her to develop her passion for helping people with their health related problems by studying medicine.

Ann plans to double major in Biology and a still to be determined second major as she goes through her Pre-Medicine program. She enjoys hanging out with friends, watching daytime shows, solving puzzles, playing with children and sleeping!

Nnamdi Nelson
Wartburg College '12

Nnamdi Nelson "Success comes through talent, hard work, and love for what you do."

This is the statement that inspires Nnamdi who unexpectedly got a free acceptance into EAC in Abuja as a Usap student after graduating from Model Secondary School in Abuja with an attractive academic record. As an outstanding student of Model, he won numerous laurels for his school in both science and mathematics competitions. He had the best Ordinary Level results among all the male students in his high school. At school, his peers often described him as a bookworm because Nnamdi was often spotted reading his books immediately after an exam on that same subject! He is not as quiet as some may think because as a junior in high school, his name featured prominently in the noise-making list. Notwithstanding, his teachers usually recommended him as a good looking, sincere, modest, and quiet fellow.

With much gratitude to the efforts of his highly experienced advisers, Nnamdi got admitted into Wartburg College in Iowa with a generous funding. From high school, he has been interested in certain biological concepts like genetics, evolution , and variation. As the former assistant health prefect of Model, he enjoyed taking care of the sick and injured which in turn made him highly interested in Medicine. He plans to pursue a major in Biological science and a minor in Economics. In college he will definitely be involved in several activities ranging from spiritual, academics, social, to sporting activities. In future, he hopes to manage his own health establishment and become a consultant physician because he wants his influence to be felt in diverse places.

Tamara Okoro
Smith College '12

Tamara Okoro Tamara lives in Nigeria with her parents, sister and twin cats. She loves a good laugh and a good novel, anytime. A frequent participant in science competitions, she graduated as the overall best student from Model Secondary School, Maitama Abuja in 2007.

Tamara believes that all fields of study are intricately connected and ultimately relevant. As such, she is very excited by the unique liberal arts education available in the United States. To utilize this educational opportunity, Tamara plans to take college courses in Literature, History and Psychology in addition to her proposed Biology major. She hopes to enroll in medical school after obtaining a Bachelor's degree.

Dean Udom
Amherst College 10'

Dean Udom Dean Udom comes from a family that has its roots in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states in Southern Nigeria. It is difficult for him to say exactly where he comes from considering that he has spent significant parts of his life in Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria and Yaoundé and Buea in Cameroon. However, he has passed most of his time in the beautiful city of Abuja. He has three siblings and he is an alumnus of Model Secondary School Maitama where he graduated in 2005.

Dean is attending Amherst College, Massachusetts. He is the Novice Tournament Director for the Amherst College Parliamentary Debate Society and an active member of Terras Irradient Amherst's Christian acapella group and the International Students' Association. He is also a Computer Center Supervisor with the Amherst College Information Technology Department.

Dean is a Chemistry major with a deep interest in Law and Political Science. He intends to pursue a career in Medicine or Law. Because he believes that the Nigerian people stand to gain a great deal from improved leadership, he hopes to use the skills that he acquires during his studies to help lift the political, economic and social fortunes of his fellow countrymen.

Dean enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, reading journals of Political Science, attending lectures and speeches, playing football, engaging in philosophical debates with his friends, and listening to music.

Uchechukwu Chimeh
Mount Holyoke College '12

Uchechukwu Chimeh Uche is a native of Udi town in Enugu State in Eastern Nigeria. She is the fourth of six children in her family, with whom she lives in Abuja. In 2001, she was admitted with a partial scholarship (as she was the best student in that year's National Common Entrance Examinations) into Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja, one of the nation's best secondary schools. She graduated from the college with eight distinctions in her WAEC Examinations.

After her graduation, she was enrolled into the United States Student Achievers Program (Usap), where she was highly assisted in her college application process by the advisers. She eventually gained admission into Mount Holyoke College. She intends on doing a major in biochemistry, while fulfilling a pre-medicine program and a minor in agricultural economics.

Uche loves dancing, singing and listening to music. She also has an interest in playing tennis and basketball. Her goals are to become a paediatrician and help improve and maintain the health of children in her country. She also sees herself working in the World Health Organization (WHO) in the near future.

Fabian Okeke
Fisk University 13'

Fabian Okeke Fabian Okeke was born as the second child into a family of four children. This young man hails from Enugu state in eastern Nigeria; He lived in Lagos State all his life; and he attended a secondary school in Abuja – northern Nigeria. In 2002, he was recognized by different Nigerian newspapers as "A Star from the Ghetto" after emerging as the best Nigerian student in the entrance examination to the prestigious Federal Government Academy (Centre for the Gifted and Talented). While in high school, Fabian displayed his academic prowess by fetching different laurels for his high school at Alumni, State and National levels. In 2007, he was nominated by International Physics Olympiad Committee and later, by International Geo-Earth Science Olympiad to join the team of students representing Nigeria in a Summer School in Ontario, Canada and in Seoul, South Korea respectively. Fabian is also a leader of quality as he was the President of different organizations and he graduated as the Deputy Senior Prefect of his school.

Presently, this aspiring computer programmer is studying Computer Science in Fisk University. "My dream is to raise young computer programmers in Nigeria who will compete with the best programmers all over the world", he says every time he talks about his aspirations. Fabian's excellence founded on diligence and consistent prayers is never-ending as he is now well known by his professors in his College as an exceptional student of high standard. This young man who strongly believes that "the only place where diligence comes before success is in the dictionary" also has serious outside classroom activities. He is presently the only freshman tutoring Mathematics in the LEAD program in his college; the only freshman in the Web service project of the Computer Science Department; the only freshman involved in Computational Chemistry Research among other activities. For this industrious upcoming programmer, whatever is conceivable and feasible is achievable!

Adaeze Ezeh
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 13'

Adaeze Ezeh "Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." - Gail Devers
These words have had an enormous effect on Adaeze; her thoughts, beliefs and subsequently, her aspirations. Gail Dever could not have said these words in a better way.

Born to a family from Umuede in Abia state of Nigeria, Adaeze, however, grew up in Jos City in Plateau State. She is a girl who loves to smile and enjoys talking to people of all age grades. Most of her leisure periods are spent listening to music, reading great books that interest her, writing songs, drawing or perhaps having a good time with friends. Since childhood Adaeze found a lot of interest in a wide range of activities which she participated in; she excelled greatly in her academics and also in singing. Most significantly, Adaeze exhibited a rare quality of determination to achieve her goals, no matter how challenging they seemed.

Growing in up in a humble home, the idea of schooling in the United States of America was no more than a fairy tale, not to mention Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To Adaeze, it was no fairy tale. Being a girl who believes that she is destined for great things, she knew that if she wanted a thing, she would get it. It was only a function of time, hard work, determination and most of all, faith. However, without the mention of Usap, this profile would be lacking. It is one great reason Adaeze earned the recent title beside her place in the MIT Class of 2013. She would always be immensely grateful to the opportunity that Usap gave her and also to the staff in charge. At MIT, she will be working and doing her best and most of all believing in the God that lives within her because "with God all things are possible to them that believe." Her best is yet to come.

Adamu Muhammad Dankore
Wartburg College '12

Adamu Muhammad Dankore Born in the Bauchi State in Nigeria, Adamu Muhammad Dankore is the first in his family to attend any type of higher institution. An indigene of Potiskum Yobe State, Adamu attended Jabi Primary School Abuja from 1994 to 2000 and then proceeded to obtain his secondary school leaving certificate from Government Secondary School Gwarinpa in July of 2006.

Currently, Adamu is a Biochemistry major and Leadership Certificate minor while completing a pre-med requirement at Wartburg College from where he intends to go to medical school. He was a medical student at the University of Abuja from February to June 2008 from where he left for the United States.

Adamu intends to specialize in the cure for childrens' ailments and hopes to use his expertise to help fight childrens' diseases across the globe and to reduce the high infant mortality rate that bedevils Africa.

Adamu was actively engaged during his six years of secondary school. Through the years, he was President, secretary, Project Co-coordinator and Newscaster for his secondary school clubs and societies; Time Keeper for school and the Head Boy of his secondary school. He has also won several laurels for his secondary school including NNPC, STAN/MOBILE, NMC/PTDF, NMC/ERC, Nigerian Junior Science Olympiad, NTA Schools Debate competitions and many more. He was also awarded the most Well Behaved Student Award of his class.

Apart from his area of study, Adamu likes writing and enjoys playing soccer. He has three siblings; a girl and two boys.

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