Current GFA Participants


Panshak? What a name! Where are you from?

I have had to deal with these many such comments about my name so before you, my reader, begins to wonder too, let me clarify it. My name, Panshak, is my tribal name, from Ngas tribe of Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State, Central Nigeria. It is one of the minority tribes in a country of about 370 tribes. Also, the name means hold one another, and depicts the responsibility I was born into as the first child of my family.

To be properly educated has always been my desire. Completing elementary education in Mafeng Private School, Jos and moving onto secondary education in Federal Government Academy, Suleja, I would confidently say I had rewarding experiences. The line from my school anthem, which says -only the best is good enough for thee- shaped my life principles that have spurred me to strive for higher heights and translated into my quest for the best education possible. I sought an American education for 3 years but certain factors did not make it possible. Finally, I began pursuing my undergraduate education in Chemistry at Columbia College, Missouri in 2011. I did not mind the 3-year gap because the quality of my education would override whatever time differences had accrued. It’s a matter of quality and not pace.

Within my time in Columbia College, drug research interested me, and I discovered that it is an area that would give me the privilege and satisfaction of finding cures and remedies to diseases. Consequently, I will begin working towards my doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Washington State University, Washington, from the fall of 2015. There is always enough research out there that can be done at every point in time.

My hobbies are watching and playing soccer, writing, listening to music and playing drums of any kind. Pascal Blaise’s once said, “a man’s greatness lies in his power of thought,” forms the framework for my last hobby, which is reflection. I am also quiet natured and tolerant.

State of Origin – Plateau State
Undergraduate School – Columbia College, Missouri
Graduate School – Washington State University
Class – Will be a first year graduate student by August, 2015
Field – Pharmaceutical Science (PhD track)

Rotshak DaKup

Rotshak Dakup (B.S. Bachelor of Science) Experienced Support Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled in Office 365, Exchange Online, IT Project Management, and Software Programming. Strong information technology professional with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in Computer Science from Columbia College.

Ijeoma Okoye

Ijeoma Okoye (Research Fellow at Department of Pharmacology in SUNY Upstate) 

Research-Oriented undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts – BA degree in Biochemistry at Vassar College and alsointerested in Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research.

Asiyah Mumuney


Asiyah Mumuney

(Student at Tufts University


B.S. Computer Science 2022

Obinna Bobby Ilochonwu

is a proud alumnus of Federal Government College, Nise. He is a native of Nnewi, Anambra, and grew up with three brothers and parents. His dream in high school was becoming an academic olympian. In 2014, he made the four-person team to represent Nigeria at the International Biology Olympiad in Bali, Indonesia. In 2015, he made the team that went to Denmark, where he emerged with the Best Nigerian result and second-best African result. Through the OFP program, Bobby secured a fully-funded scholarship (over $51,000 per year) to study Nursing at Berea College in Kentucky, USA. Obinna is now a junior in college, where he serves as a senator in the Berea College Student Government Association. He also volunteers as a student mentor for the OFP program at EducationUSA Abuja, alongside other commendable work. After college, he hopes to pursue a Master's in nursing with dual specialties in mental health and adult oncology.

Dr Simon-Okube Patience E

Dr Simon-Okube Patience E. (BSc, M.B.B.S., MPH and JP) was born at Nnokwa, Anambra State. I am a graduate of University of Kentucky (2012, MPH), University of Benin (2008, MBBS) and University of Jos (1992, BSc). After my first degree, I met and got married to Mr. Simon I. Okube from Iru, Edo State. Blessed with three lovely kids: Shalom, Ivory and Victory. I am fluent in English and Igbo language. As a diplomat’s wife, I had travelled to several countries including United States. I also worked in several organizations back in Nigeria.

My passion is to one day play an appreciable role in restructuring the health system of my country, Nigeria; where possible my continent Africa and indeed the world as a whole. This passion moved me into medical school exactly ten (10) years after my 1st degree in Botany. Being out of my country then on a diplomatic posting to Burkina Faso with my husband, this was a tough decision especially having to travel back to Nigeria with three children, the third being just four (4) months old. Many then, thought I was crazy, but today I am happy I took that risk, it was indeed a leap of faith.

My short term goal when I left the shores of Nigeria in August, 2010 was to become an MPH (master of Public Health) graduate of University of Kentucky, USA. My intention was to acquire a broad based state of the art quantitative and qualitative managerial skills, as well as multidisciplinary and collaborative strategies for solving health-related problems. Today, I am so happy and grateful to God that, that goal has been attained, and am just finalizing my practical training. I indeed enthusiastically look forward to returning to my country, to assist my colleagues in my own little way, in rebuilding the nation’s health system.

My long term professional goal is to build a state of the art Medical and Diagnostic Centre/Hospital in my country, as well as occupy senior leadership positions in my country’s Health System, thereby, help in harmonizing the communication between financing care and delivering care, between developing sound policy and implementing it. I love singing, dancing, cooking and counseling. I believe there is a measure of goodness in everyone, and that life can be good if you are a little more patient.

Motto: “When you Believe, Dreams Come True!”

State of Origin – Anambra State
School – University of Kentucky
Year – Post Graduate
Major – Public Health

2015 Student Participants


Born in Bauchi State Nigeria, Adamu Muhammad Dankore is the first in his family to attend university. 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.

Adamu graduated from Wartburg College in Iowa, United States on May 27th, 2012 with a Chemistry degree and a Leadership Certificate minor.

Adamu’s work experience include Biorenewables (converting corn to fuel for automobiles) & Biotechnology (using micro-organisms such as algae to make enzymes and oils).

Adamu was actively engaged in secondary school. He was President Math Club, Secretary Geography Club, Project Co-coordinator Health Watch Club, Newscaster Press Club, Time Keeper and Head Boy (Student Body President). He has been recognized for his participation in various school competitions including NNPC, STAN/MOBILE, NMC/PTDF, NMC/ERC, Nigerian Junior Science Olympiad, & NTA Schools Debate. He was also awarded the most Well Behaved Student Award of his set.

Apart from his area of study, Adamu like making/editing videos, small governments/local control enthusiast & a Pro Evolution Soccer (coach mode/simulation) addict. He has three siblings; a girl and two boys.

States of Origin – Jigawa/Yobe,
Work: Scientist

Philip Abel Adam

I am Philip Abel Adama. I am nineteen years old, from Kogi State and the eldest child of my family with four other siblings. I graduated from Rochas Foundation College where I was on a six-year scholarship program in 2010, and got accepted into the United States Students Achievers Program (USAP) at the US embassy Abuja in the same year. Through the USAP I applied (all expenses covered by the program) to top schools in the US for admission and scholarship. And today, I am an Undergraduate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I am a very easy-going and affable person, who loves meeting and learning from good people. I sing, play soccer, and see movies at free time. I also love to share my experiences with people and this is the major reason why I am so excited to partake in the GFA program.

State of Origin – Kogi State
School – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Class – Senior 2015
Major – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Akachukwu Obi

I think I should start charging per hour on lecturing people on how to pronounce my first name. Friends and family call me AC, well because I’m cool. I like to boast of my middle position as the third of five children to my parents because of the less too much responsibility, and less too much love associated with it. I’m from Umunze, Anambra state, Nigeria, and currently studying Chemistry and Mathematics at Bates College, Lewiston ME, USA. I got my admission to Bates gratefully with the help of the United States Student Achievers’ Program (USAP) of the Education Advising Center, Abuja. I discovered, and was opportune to participating in Greetings from America through the Education Advising Center, and am very excited to share with fellow Nigerians how life is/can be in pizza land. So far, my American experience has exposed me to new ways of looking at people and cultures. I’ve also developed new hobbies which include amongst others, arguing about politics (not so me), playing country music, and of course, playing FIFA ’12. I’ve kept myself useful at Bates as a member of the intramural sports committee at Bates, student government Representative Assembly, Bates Christian Fellowship, and the photo club. I’m thinking of creating my own, maybe dancing club.

My parents, like any proud Nigerian parents of a smart kid (oh I’m now psyched), had wanted me to study medicine. I decided against it gradually but firmly as I arrived here, discovered other opportunities, and received all those lectures about career choices, interests, and ‘what you really want to study’. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with the majors that I am studying. I just want to make money and maybe, donate to nonprofit organizations. no, for some reasons, I’m not interested in creating a nonprofit organization. I’m very interested in science research, and looking forward to a Nobel prize someday. For now, I have to concentrate on getting some kind of cum laude, or maybe getting out of college, to where ever real life begins.

I miss playing soccer barefooted under the rain with my kid brother and other cool neighbors back home (and I miss calling it football instead of soccer). I miss rice and palm oil, reminds me of lya basira (by Styl plus), and bitter leaf soup. I miss jumping and dancing and sweating in church. Of course my family and everybody back home, I want to speak Igbo again.

State of Origin: Anambra State
School: Bates College – Maine
Class – Freshman Year will be in Second by September, 2012
Major – Engineering

Belema Ibama

Hi Everyone! My name is Belema Ibama. I have two amazing parents and three wonderful siblings. Though I am a native of Grand Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State, I have lived in the United States since the 4th grade. I moved back to Nigeria for my last few years of high school and I received my B.A. in English from Benson Idahosa University, where I graduated at the top of my department.

In Nigeria, I am a proud member of EducationUSA, as well as a youth leader and worship team member at Family Worship Center (Trailblazers Youth Church) where I speak to young ladies about the love of Jesus and achieving their hopes, dreams and aspirations. I am so delighted to be a part of GFA as I love addressing issues faced by young adults all over the world. I hope to publish several works of academic and creative literature and become an accomplished author. I know that someday SOON, by the Grace of God, I will host my own international television/radio talk show.

In my spare time, I love travelling, cooking, fitness and…SHOPPING! My roles models are Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams, Oprah Winfrey, and of course my ULTIMATE role model is The Holy Trinity; GOD, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I value my personal relationship with GOD. I hope to inspire young women towards achieving greatness and wholeness in mind, body and Spirit.

State of Origin – Bonny, Rivers State
School – Texas Southern University
Year – Second Semester, First year
Major – M.A. English Literature

Daniel Akuma

I am Daniel Akuma. I hail from Nigeria in Western Africa, and I’m really proud to be considered for fall admission into Kenyon College, Ohio! I love studying people that live around me, to know the exact parts of their lives I can fit in. Little wonder, I intend to major in Neuroscience (while fulfilling the requirements for premedicine).

Surprisingly, I am only 17! But then, I have a deceptive physique – muscular and stout. This rather ironic physique has earned me a kind of respect among my seniors. I have however, had to be more responsible than my age demands, because of people’s impression about my age. It feels good!

Going to FEDACAD, as we call our High School, gave me a whole lot of opportunities to explore other cultures apart from mine – the Igbo culture. Well, I have never left the frontiers of Nigeria, but my HS was a salad of representatives from all the states of the federation. The best three pupils in every state were selected each year to participate in a 6-year free education scheme, and that was how I found myself studying in a very diverse High School. So, I had many moments of “Hey! How do you perform marriages in your culture…?” and questions of that sort. I’m sure that is one of the experiences that left footprints of inquisitiveness in me.

Sure one would want to know how the wind of US education blew through my mind, since I had never visited any other country in my life, and I’ll tell you! This piece would never be complete without my mentioning the role of USAP in shaping my life philosophy. I know some of us may not know USAP very well. USAP is a global programme titled United States Students Achievers Programme. It was founded in Harare, Zimbabwe to aid economically disadvantaged intellectuals secure a place in US schools for higher learning, and in no time it spread to countries like the UK, Nigeria and South Africa. It works under the US embassy of whatever country it is located, and exposes its participants to life in the US. I was admitted into USAP Nigeria immediately after high school and there, I learnt that there is a life outside Nigeria. And then, I fell in love with Liberal Arts Education, in accordance with my favorite saying “there are SO MANY WAYS TO KILL A RAT!-

I am very outgoing and sociable – but I do that only when I have a listening ear in the background. I love to teach people a lot of things also. During my gap year after HS, I coached many seniors in their preparations for our Standardized exams – the WASSCE. It makes me see myself like I’m looking at a mirror, and I…love it!

State of Origin – Ebonyi State
School – Kenyon College – Ohio
Year: second year will be in a Junior by September 2013
Major – Neuroscience


Born in Enugu, Enugu State and an indigene of Awka Etiti, in Anambra State, Nigeria. Lilian is the first daughter and the middle child of the five children to her parent. Growing up, as a child wasn’t hard because my dad was always there to support us, and now we really feel the difference in his absence and wish he was alive to see and enjoy the fruit of his labour.

I had my secondary education at the Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha and proceeded to read law at the great University of Ibadan, Oyo State. I went to the Nigerian Law School Abuja; afterwards, I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2007. I did my chamber attachment at the Gani Fawehinmi Chambers in Lagos and worked in few law firms. My last employment in Nigeria was in National Human rights Commission, before I left for my masters’ degree in law last year.

I was actively engaged as the legal adviser in my school alumni Association, (University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Abuja Branch) I am also the social welfare officer of the Global Association of Female Attorneys (GAFA) an NGO of female lawyers base in Abuja. I am a member of FIDA as well as Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Abuja Branch. More so, I am member of the EducationUSA Abuja, Nigeria and a member of the Community and Inclusive Committee University of Oregon, School of law. USA.

When I am not doing schoolwork, I enjoy travelling, meeting friends, faith base activities and playing chess. I am happy to be a participant of the Greetings from America. It is a great experience and a good way to tell one’s story here in America. Regards!

State of Origin= Anambra State
School= University of Oregon, School of Law
Major= LLM in Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law

Moses Onyeabor

This is Moses Onyeabor, from Enugu state, Nigeria. I am the youngest of five siblings. When I was younger, say five, people used to call me ‘Kanu Nwankwo’ because of my mesmerizing skills on the ball (soccer).

I attended The School for the Gifted at my high school level after I graduated as the best student of my junior high school, JSS Pasali with nine A’s in nine subjects in my junior WAEC. I also got the chance to work with the F.C.T. Children’s parliament as an Honorable member of the House. The story had only just begun from there as I went on to make it into the USAP program at the American Embassy in Abuja. The program sponsored my applications to schools in the U.S. and Canada. Thanks to the coordinators who found a reason to choose me out of many that applied! Most especially Mrs. Shade Adebayo who was and still is like a mother to me. She advised me, scolded me and did everything within her power to get me where I am today. After one year of restlessness and hard work, God granted me four admissions in the U.S and three scholarships out of the seven schools that I applied to. It was unbelievable to me when I got an email informing me that I have been selected as a MasterCard Foundations Scholar. This scholarship is all encompassing as it covers my flight tickets to and from America, my tuition and board, books, living expenses, laptop, printer and lots more. To make it short, I simply get paid for going to school! I am so grateful to God because I never dreamt of having to study in the U.S. due to the economic situation of my family, but right now the story has completely changed for the better.

It’s my pleasure to provide information to you out there and to let you know that all things are possible and attainable. My life in the U.S. so far is filled with experiences and stories which have completely changed my perception of life. I hope to one day be a citizen that Nigeria would be proud of as her own.

State of Origin: Enugu State
School: Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe Campus
Class: Freshman, second semester as at February, 2015
Major: Biochemistry and a minor in Global Health

Zaidat Ibrahim

Zaidat Ibrahim, graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, currently works at a health institution in Boston, MA. She also works as an Editor for Opportunity Desk and volunteers for several organizations through the UNV. She is known for her hard work, commitment and most of all, her beaming smiles. She loves to meet new people, watch soccer games & good movies, and she enjoys nature.

State of Origin – Kogi State
School: Graduate of Mount Holyoke College
Major: Biochemistry with a pre-med Track
Long term career goal: to become a healthcare professional !

2010-2011 Student Participants

Ladipo Ooreoluwa

Ladipo Ooreoluwa My name is Ooreoluwa Ladipo, I am 17 years old (as of 2010). I am an undergraduate student of Ohio Wesleyan University. I plan to major in Economics and German. My hobbies include playing board games, reading and writing. I come from a family with three boys only and I am the second. I have an elder brother in Covenant University and a younger brother in Word of Faith Secondary School. I graduated in 2009 from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja.

My plans for the future are multitudinous but my basic want is to be content with what I have while making the changes I can. I am from Lagos State in Nigeria so I hope to one day return to it and develop some areas that have been overlooked by the government and to somehow affect the future. I have never believed the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, rather I believe that we are the leaders of today and we should take a stand in each and every situation we find ourselves in to be the change we hope to see in the world. I don-t believe I am a perfectionist but I do not like releasing works for scrutiny until I am sure that they are good. So this makes it hard for me to be a regular blogger. However, I try my best. You can check out a few of my words on and lest I forget my friend.

State of Origin: Lagos
School: Ohio Wesleyan University
Year: Junior
Major: Pre-Med

Mustapha Isa

Currently a Junior at Brandeis University where I am projected to complete a degree in Computer Science along with minors in Physics and Mathematics. I am also a recipient of the Wien International Scholarship and the Undergraduate Department Representative in the computer science department. Born and raised in the state of Kaduna – Nigeria, I attended Zamani College for my secondary education and was a member of the Educational Advising Centre [Education USA] prior to my acceptance into college. I very much enjoy creative writing and still nurse ambitions of mastering my intermediate French. Ultimately, after my time at Brandeis, I hope to pursue an engineering degree at Columbia University.

State of Origin: Kaduna State
School: Brandeis University
Year: Sophomore
Major: Aeronautic Engineering

Adesola Oluwagbemiga Oje

My name is Adesola Oluwagbemiga Oje. I am 17 years old. I was born in Kaduna state, Nigeria on the 3rd of January, 1993. I attended Sacred Heart Primary School in Kaduna then went to Olashore International School, Iloko-Ijesha, Osun State for my secondary school education. I plan on going to Mississippi State University to study Biomedical Engineering. I am basically three things; I am funny, smart and sporty. I love to talk because I am really social and detest boring places. I also love to read because I am a book worm. My books don-t necessarily need to relate to my academics. I am a fan of music. I write and sing for fun. Hopefully when I graduate, I would be able to come back to Nigeria to improve our health sector.

State of Origin – Osun State
School – Mississippi State University
Year – Third year by August
Major – Biomedical Engineering

Chinedu Dominic Umeasiegbu

Chinedu Dominic Umeasiegbu was born in Lagos State, Nigeria on the 20th of April, 1987. He had his primary education at Handmaids Nursery & Primary School, Abuja. He subsequently attended Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja where he completed his secondary education in 2003. Chinedu is currently enrolled in the Chemical Engineering graduate program of the University of the Houston, Texas.

Prior to his enrollment in the University of Houston, he earned a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State. After earning his Bachelor-s degree, he went on to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme. He did his youth service in the Gas & Power Directorate of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abuja from 2009 to 2010.

Chinedu enjoys watching soccer, hanging out with friends and playing Scrabble during his free time. He describes himself as a friendly and sociable person. He hopes to learn a lot about the American culture and educate his host friends and community about his culture and country.

State of Origin: Imo State *
School: University of Houston
Year: second year of PhD
Major: Chemical Engineering