A Nigerian girl, Amarachi-Nemezi Veronica Mbawuike recently made a bold and envious academic statement in her High School graduation at Centrville High School Clifton, Virginia, USA.
She was born on October 5, 2000 into a family of two loving parents and three excited siblings. Born of a humble family of Mr Paschal Mbawuike and Mrs Concilia Mbawuike, she had a mission to stamp her footprints on the sands of time.
Early on, her family nicknamed her Amy. She started College Prep High School at Centreville Elementary, where she was accepted into the Gifted and Talented program at age 7. From there, she earned exemplary marks from her teachers and gained the recognition of the Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee. Moving on to Liberty Middle School, Amy became a regular on the All A Honor Roll and excelled in high school level coursework. Amy continued her success at Centreville High School on the All A Honor Roll.
Amy at graduation procession ceremony
Tracing her Nigerian roots, she said “Both my mother and my father were born in Owerri, Imo State, a city set in the heart of Nigeria’s Igboland. Both sides of my family, all members of the Igbo tribe, have lived in the villages of Eastern Nigeria for countless generations, but that all changed in March of 1983. Early in their twenties, my parents left Nigeria to pursue their education in the United States in an effort to provide a better life for their future children. I use their example as the centerpiece for my educational endeavors, for the same tenacity and courage that motivated them to cross an ocean to further their own education also motivates me to strive for excellence even in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship”.
Continuing, Amy took multiple Advanced Placement classes to earn college credit and received several academic awards while volunteering in her community. She has served as a hospital volunteer and as the president of Centreville High School’s Red Cross Club. After a rigorous admissions process, the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, accepted Amy into its Class of 2023 for Nursing. Currently a certified clinical medical assistant, Amy has the hopes of becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Recounting, she said “Growing up, my parents were constantly juggling long hours at work and in school to support my siblings and I, therefore requiring me to take full ownership and initiative over my studies from a very young age. Since I did not have parents hovering over to remind me to do my work every evening, I independently pushed myself to complete my grade school assignments, whether it be reviewing my times tables or practicing my cursive penmanship. Though none of my Igbo relatives lived within close proximity to me, the popular Igbo proverb “Knowledge is never complete” kindled a tendency towards self-driven inquiry within me and helped me feel better connected to my culture. I kept up this manner of academic excellence throughout middle school and high school by challenging myself with honors classes and AP classes that made me exercise my approach to learning and problem solving in novel ways. I began to receive recognition from teachers and the All-A Honor Roll for my outstanding performance in the classroom. The recognition that I valued the most was from the local minority academic achievement committee that often regarded me highly for doing my part to close the achievement gap”.
L-R Mrs Concilia Mbawuike (Mother), Amy, Chigozie Mbawuike (immediate older Brother) Sussy Mbawuike (Elder Sister) at the graduation ceremony
According to the Migrations Policy Institute, 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population.
The most recent academic excellence by Nigerians in USA was 46 Nigerian students who made the bulk of the 96 medical students that graduated from the prestigious Howard University. At the graduation ceremony, a total of 27 awards of excellence was given and Nigerians graduates claimed 16 in a humble demonstartion of academic superiority.
It could be recalled that Dr Chibawanye Ene, an Enugu state born US based Nigerian Doctor, won the 2019 Ronald L. Bittner Award On Brain Tumor Research. “Naija no dey carry last”
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)