Having nearly exhausted my options, I am currently crowd fund raising with the hope that my story will inspire someone out there to support in any way however small so that, ultimately, when I reach my goal, others will be also be inspired to never throw in the towel.
I spent most of my formative years in a mosquito infested densely populated neighborhood of Lagos, Nigeria; this was my first encounter with public health issues and I often pondered over the squalid nature of our local environs. As time went on and I enrolled as an undergraduate studying Microbiology in Nigeria, I developed a keen interest in two intricately interwoven areas, Research and Public Health. However, a constant paucity of funds threatened my graduation and nearly thwarted my dream of pursuing a career in public health. Unlike me, my parents never enjoyed the privilege of a college education; however, they devoted their time and scarcely sufficient resources towards educating me and my four siblings to college level; often, my family’s income had to be supplemented by contributions from benevolent relatives and friends. Witnessing my parents’ sacrifice and resilience motivated me to go through college with a fierce determination to excel. This dogged determination to succeed paid off as I eventually graduated with honors.
Driven by a relentless desire to transcend my humble beginnings and become a public health professional, I thereafter worked with the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) where I gained laboratory experience testing drug samples and also monitored the use, storage, sale and diversion of narcotics and controlled substances. Sequel to this, I worked as a Research Assistant at a private biotechnology laboratory. Before and after these accomplishments, I honed my leadership potential by engaging in community service at my local church, working with underprivileged women and children. I currently work as a volunteer for multiple Nigerian Not-for-Profit organizations whose goals include fighting hunger in Nigeria's slums, eradicating malaria and running health focused public enlightenment campaigns. For me, these experiences have burnished the image of public health as a panacea for many of our development goals in Nigeria, other emerging societies and even the developed world.
My work experience, strong academic profile and leadership potential were qualities that earned me a place on the Fall 2020 MPH program at the prestigious Boston University.
The opportunity to pursue an MPH at BU has indeed come at a defining moment in the history of the world. With the COVID-19 crisis ravaging every part of the global community, I am more than ever convinced that an investment in public health is a matter of enlightened self-interest and the world must invest heavily in this regard to safeguard lives as well as private and public wealth.
Upon graduation from the program, I intend to conduct research (working with global institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO) so as to improve access to quality healthcare in poor communities, partner with Health institutions to improve healthcare services, particularly in the global south, and ultimately pursue a career in academia in my field. Additionally, I hope to deploy a proportion of my lifelong earnings towards funding Sub-Saharan African students looking to study Public Health.
As an old African proverb puts it, ‘we all need every inch in life as the margin for error is simply too small to be without the littlest help one can get.' Every penny donated will be more than an inch for me, a passionate African woman hoping to make the world a better place through public health.
I hope you find it in your heart to favorably consider my request for funding.
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- Patrick Ogwu
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