Olajuyin Olaleye Ebenezer is a young Nigerian man from Efon Alaaye, Ekiti state, who has a passion for biomedical science. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (B.MLS) degree from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, Nigeria, with a second class upper honors (2:1) in 2018.
He had a dream of pursuing his PhD in the United States, but he faced many challenges and rejections along the way. He applied to over 30 schools and programs, but he was rejected by 27 of them. He did not give up, however. He kept improving his profile, seeking mentors, and applying for scholarships.
His persistence paid off when he received an offer from the University of Maine to study Biomedical Science under a fully funded scholarship. He was one of the 12 students selected out of over 300 applicants for the prestigious Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering (GSBSE) program.
He moved to the US in August 2021 and started his PhD journey at the University of Maine. He is currently working on cancer, immunology, inflammation, and hematology research under the supervision of Dr. Ling Cao, an associate professor of immunology.
Olajuyin’s story is an inspiration to many young Nigerians who aspire to study abroad and pursue their academic goals. He shared his excitement and gratitude on Twitter, saying:
“From Efon Alaaye to United States of America. Fully funded PhD Biomedical Sciences (University of Maine) United States of America.”
He also thanked his mentors, family, friends, and supporters who helped him along the way. He said:
“I am grateful to God for this opportunity. I also appreciate my mentors, Dr. Olufemi Adeyemi (LAUTECH), Dr. Olusegun Ojo (LAUTECH), Dr. Oladipo Ademuyiwa (University of Ibadan), Dr. Ling Cao (University of Maine), and Dr. Carol Kim (University of Maine) for their guidance and encouragement. I thank my family, especially my parents, for their prayers and support. I thank my friends and colleagues for their love and motivation. I thank everyone who contributed to my success in one way or the other.”Popular Stories on Rising Africa nowNigerian girl achieves an outstanding 6.9 GPA, making history as the first Black valedictorian in her school’s 125-year history in Texas.Extraordinary Nigerian mother returns to school following the birth of her last child, aspiring to pursue Law at the university
Olajuyin’s achievement is remarkable considering the challenges and barriers that many Nigerian students face in accessing quality education and opportunities. According to the World Bank, Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of tertiary education enrollment in the world, with only 10% of eligible students enrolled in 2018. The country also has one of the highest rates of out-of-school children, with about 10 million children not attending school as of 2018.
Despite these difficulties, some Nigerian students like Olajuyin have shown resilience and determination to overcome them and pursue their dreams. They have also demonstrated excellence and innovation in various fields of study and research.
Some examples of other Nigerian scholars who have made remarkable achievements abroad include:
- Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, a Yale University professor who was one of the lead researchers for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- Dr. Njideka Udochi, a Maryland-based physician who was named the Family Physician of the Year 2021 by the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians.
- Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, a Chicago-based psychologist who became the first mental health professional to lead a major US jail.
- Dr. Wendy Okolo, a NASA aerospace engineer who became the first black woman to earn a PhD in aerospace engineering from Stanford University.
- Dr. Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, a human rights activist who founded Stand to End Rape (STER), an organization that provides support and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence in Nigeria.
These are just some of the many examples of Nigerian scholars who have excelled in their fields and contributed to the advancement of knowledge and society. They are role models and sources of pride for Nigeria and Africa.
Olajuyin’s story is another testament to the potential and talent that Nigeria has to offer to the world. He hopes to use his skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on human health and well-being. He said:
“My goal is to become a world-class researcher and educator in biomedical science. I want to contribute to the discovery and development of new therapies and diagnostics for diseases that affect millions of people around the world, especially in Africa.”
We wish him all the best in his PhD journey and beyond.
Heard of Okeke Solomon Ekene, he made history by becoming the overall best graduating student at RUDN University, Moscow in Russia. He graduated with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management and Engineering with a perfect cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 5.0/5.0.
Okeke’s academic journey began in Okija, Anambra, where he attended primary and secondary schools. He then proceeded to study Agricultural Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), where he graduated with a first-class honours degree in 2018.
He applied for a scholarship to study in Russia through the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) programme of the Federal Ministry of Education. He was among the 94 Nigerian students who were awarded the scholarship in 2019. Continue reading his story here.