My name is Etietop Umoh, and I have been out of university for four years.
I started studying Architectural Technology at the New York Institute of Technology in September 2017, but had to withdraw from the university after one year, because my family just could not afford it. I withdrew while still owing some tuition, which we have been paying off bit by bit, but four years have passed. Without clearing the debt, I cannot get my transcript and move on with my education. It has felt like my entire life has been on hold. I have felt lost, depressed, angry – at myself, and at my parents, and the world in general. It is not a great feeling.
At home in Nigeria between 2017 and 2018, my mother, who has done so much for me, and still does, was diagnosed with diabetes and absence seizures, a kind of epilepsy. The cost of treatment and medication added to the financial strain on the family and, eventually, in late 2018, her difficulties with her health led to the loss of her job as a school principal. Today we are thankful that her health is well-managed and she is doing much better now.
However, things are still difficult due to the state of the Nigerian economy, and the effects of the pandemic. At the time that I started my program, the exchange rate was $1 to NGN360, but right now $1 is worth nearly double that amount, and it continues to rise. As a result of inflation, the costs of living and running a business are continually rising.
While I would not wish this experience on anyone, I am thankful for it because I believe that it has prepared me for the future that awaits me. In 2017 I was a carefree and immature 17- year-old. During this time, I got my first two jobs, where I helped with the planning, design, and management of construction projects, and the management of workers as well. I have learned more about how the world works. But the most important lesson, I believe, and it took me a while to really learn this, is that we are in control of the outcomes of our own lives. My parents have done what they can, but they need help – I need help.
Therefore, I am setting up this GoFundMe to raise the sum of $9,500 to pay the outstanding tuition and move forward. Every amount, no matter how small, and every share of this page will be greatly appreciated. As my mom always says, “It’s little drops that fill a bucket.”
Thank you all so much,
And God Bless