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Viral UNN first-class graduate turned farmer, bags Ph.D. scholarship in the US (Photo)

Emmanuel Nworie, a first-class mathematics graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka has bagged a fully-funded scholarship at a university in the United States.

Nworie bagged the scholarship after a photo of him tilling the soil in Ebonyi State owing to poverty and a lack of a platform to utilize his knowledge went viral on social media, TheCable reports.

The 27-year-old who graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 4.92/5.00, received three offers from universities in the southern part of the US.

The UNN graduate emerged as one of the 23 candidates selected from a pool of 1,509 applicants for the scholarship, covering costs for application fees and the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) — a requirement for the graduate application for some courses in the US.

Recounting the challenges he faced before he applied for the Michael Taiwo (MT) Scholarship in an interview with The Cable, Nworie said, “I started having challenges in 2005 when we struggled with the health of my dad. I have long wanted to be a mathematician.

But after my dad passed away, I was deterred because at some point when I was trying to save for undergraduate studies and after two years I couldn’t save enough, so I was frustrated.” Taiwo who made the announcement said,

“He is going to one of the best universities in the world. SMU is a very expensive school; more expensive than Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale. He will be schooling with people from the richest families in the world.

It costs over $75,000 per year to attend SMU. Emmanuel won’t pay a single dollar out of this. In addition to this, he will be given a very generous stipend to cater for his living expenses. The interesting thing is that he got three of this type of offers from Southern Methodist University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the University of Texas at Dallas.“

When asked about his advice for other distinguished graduates who share similar stories like Nworie, Taiwo said such people should endeavour to utilise the internet to access available opportunities.

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“I would say they should keep up hope and try to move to a city where they can have access to the internet. As you can remember from Emmanuel’s story, his breakthrough came because he was in Enugu when the application window for the annual Michael Taiwo Graduate School Application scholarship was open. 

“If he had been at his farm in Ebonyi, he would have missed this generation-changing opportunity. So my advice is that they should relocate to where they can get access to information, i.e. the internet.”

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