USAP Nigeria Profiles

Profiles for our Nigerian students are still coming in and we will update this page as they become available. Below we profile the students whose information we have on file.

More USAP Nigeria profiles

CLASS 0F 2012

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.

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. His family lives in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 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 left a legacy at the Academy and will be remembered for his teaching qualities, ever-smiling face, and good sense of appreciation.

While considering taking a year out before proceeding to higher education, Joseph unexpectedly got admitted into USAP. As a USAP participant, his potentials were unleashed. He was admitted into Bates College, Maine where he is currently a sophomore and a mathematics major (the only thing out of many that he has not changed since he came to college) and French minor. He is also interested in education also and hopes to teach in Nigeria after graduation. Along with nine other men and ten women, he recently received an award at Bates as a Dana Scholar1, "the highest award bestowed on a freshman at Bates".

As part of his fulfillments for the French minor, Joseph will be studying and touring Nantes and Paris, France in 2010 with a short term class from Bates. And as consolation for his missing out on Nigerian university education, he hopes to spend his junior fall semester later in the year at a university in Ghana learning it the West African way while primarily studying the nature and advantages of the rivalry between these two "next-door neighbors".

Joseph was considered "too good" for the Bates varsity soccer team, so he set out to ply his trade in the semester intramurals organized for people like him at Bates. On his previous four attempts at the championship, he has waved goodbye to the trophy twice in the final match of the competition, but still believes that the cup shall be his someday. He enjoys learning new activities, like learning to bike (at last!), to skate, and to ski – the last two of which were inevitable due to the presence of Maine's best friend, the snow.

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 enthusiasm for what you do."

This is the statement that inspires Nnamdi who joined EAC in Abuja as a USAP student after graduating from Model Secondary School in Abuja. While a student at Model, he represented his school in science and mathematics competitions. During his senior year, Nnamdi served as the assistant health prefect. On graduation day, he received awards as the best graduating student in Economics, Geography, and Health Science.

Nnamdi got admitted into Wartburg College with generous scholarships to study biology. At Wartburg, he served as a Supplemental Instructor for Psychology 101. He led weekly group study sessions and prepared the students for quizzes and exams. Nnamdi was also a chemistry tutor and laboratory assistant; he assisted the chemistry instructor conduct laboratory sessions and grade lab reports. He was an active member of the International Club (Secretary 2010/2011) and the Chapel Choir at Wartburg. Nnamdi spent the summer of 2011 as a student intern at the Developmental Lung Biology Laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus where he explored hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in rodent and bovine models. In May 2012, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Psychology.

Nnamdi took time-off after college to explore vision research at the University of Iowa. There, he learned to employ biochemistry and molecular biology techniques in the study of autoimmune eye diseases. Nnamdi will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study Neuroscience. At UIUC, he hopes to teach Psychology and Neuroscience courses; he will also be an enthusiastic supporter of the Fighting Illini football and basketball teams. Nnamdi enjoys good movies, fine dining, swimming, tennis, and spending time with friends and family. After graduating, he will like to teach and do research in a university.

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.

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