Fuel My Dreams

My name is Kechi Okwuchi, a 26 year old Nigerian currently living and working in Texas, United States, and I am in dire need of financial support for my impending master’s program, which begins this August 2016 at University of St. Thomas, Houston.

11 years ago, I was in a plane crash that took the lives of 107 out of a 109 passengers. I was one of the 2 survivors. I suffered third-degree burns over 65% of my body, and ever since the accident, my life has been a series of difficult surgeries and reconstructive operations, all to give me back some independence and the much needed strength to continue living life as normally as possible.

Last year, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of St. Thomas with a BBA in Economics. I have since been working at a non-profit organization in Houston. Though it has been rewarding, as an undergraduate, I had no time for internships because I was always in and out of surgery, so it was that much harder to find a paid job after graduating, especially as an international student.
I intend to continue my studies here in America, and I have long received admission to a UST masters program: an MBA in Economics. The tuition for the 2-year program is $36,138; an amount that my family simply cannot afford. I have searched for graduate scholarships over the past year, and even though my undergraduate GPA more than qualifies me for these scholarships, the fact that I am a non-U.S. citizen ultimately disqualifies me as a potential recipient. My other option would be to go back home and apply to a Nigerian university, but my burn injuries and multiple skin grafts make living in Nigeria impossible because of the extreme weather conditions and persistent, country-wide power outages. Moreover, my younger sister, now 16, starts college next year, and even with the help of the available scholarships for which she qualifies, my parents are still struggling to ensure that her fees are fully covered when the time comes. It would surely be a blessing to be able to relieve them of the pressure of somehow providing for both myself and my sister.

Please, I urge you to invest in me, in my future. Working with United Nations has been a dream of mine from my freshman year at UST, and I believe that with a BBA and an MBA in Economics, my chances of gaining an internship with the UN, WHO, World Bank or other such international organizations would multiply greatly.

I do hope that my request garners a favorable response from you all.

Thank you for reading!

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Kechi Okwuchi 
Pearland, TX
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