Please Help Us Help Emmanuel!

Emmanuel Chibuokem is an amazing young man from Nigeria who came over to this country in 2014, at the age of 19, in order to go to college.  He lives in a small house with his Aunt Martina and 4 cousins.  His dream is to become an aeronautical engineer.

Emmanuel has earned his 2-year Associate's Degree in engineering at CCAC with a 3.4 GPA.  He's done this while working virtually full-time at multiple jobs.  He doesn't have a driver’s license, so he's been limited to jobs to which he can walk, take the bus, or get a ride from friends and family, which means that most of his work has been at or near minimum wage.  He recently got a job in Canonsburg that is in his field and pays  a bit more than minimum wage, but he has no good way to get there, and has to pay $10-$30 each day for transportation, sometimes having to use Uber when his ride arrangements fall through.

Emmanuel has been accepted to WVU to complete the last two years of his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering!  Although he's been saving almost every penny he earns, he doesn't have nearly enough for the significant college bills, even if he lives at home and commutes. He has deferred his admission to January 2019, but unless something major happens, he will not have the funds by then, either.  Due to his visa status, he must resume his education by February 2019, or he will need to go back to Nigeria. 

During all this time, Emmanuel has maintained an amazing attitude. He is a strong Christian, and is honest, generous, reliable, sweet-natured, and hard-working, and is so appreciative of the blessings that have come his way in his time here!

Our dream for Emmanuel is that we can raise the funds, through the generosity of friends, to allow Emmanuel to start at WVU in January.   Our second  hope is that someone might be willing to provide a car for the cause -  either by giving it to Emmanuel, selling it to him at a reduced price, or allowing him the use of it so that he can reach his earning potential at his current job .  After much hard work, Emmanuel got his Driver's License on September 25, and is now able to take full advantage of having a car to use. This may be your opportunity to put that old, beat up, or unused car to a great use!  

We hope you can give to help this wonderful young man!  There is no amount too small (and no amount too large!!), and remember the car, too!  If you are not able to contribute money or a car, you can also help with the Emmanuel Ride Corps - a group of us who have been helping him get to and from work, regularly or occasionally.  You can also help by passing this along to your friends through email, Facebook, etc.  Thank you so much!

                                                                                    Emmanuel with family and friends


Pam Tripp:
Emmanuel came to work for me three years ago, helping me with the maintenance of my 17 rental properties (and my own home when time allowed).  He was paying his way through community college for an Associate’s Degree in Engineering and holding down two jobs.  He would often work for me all day and then take the bus to the North Side to work the late shift at Subway – so on his feet all day!  Luckily, he is young and driven and takes it all in stride. Never a complaint crosses his lips, as he works in the cold wrapped up in my gardening parka, warming his hands periodically under warm water (Nigeria did not prepare him for Pittsburgh weather), and warming our hearts with every passing day.  All of the people that I have put in his path, mostly through work, fell for his quiet, good-natured and hard-working character.

God has been with this young man, and he has been a blessing to so many of us here in Pittsburgh.  He was not able to get into the university at home in Nigeria – not due to anything on his part, but due to the system there.  His aunt, who lives in Scott Township, invited him to come to the US to go to school here.  She already had a full house, but gladly added Emmanuel into her care.  Now, having finished his Associate’s, he applied to Aeronautical Engineering programs, and has been accepted to WVU (my Alma Mater).  He is very excited to continue his education, but as a foreign student, he is required to provide proof of funding before starting school.   That is hard to come up with in advance, even when you work as hard as Emmanuel does!

I have never felt the desire to help a young man reach his goals so strongly.  He is astounded at the affection that we all feel for him, and that we show it in so many ways as we interact with him, doing what we can to help him.  He has even said that in his wildest dreams before leaving Nigeria, he would never have envisioned the extended family that we have formed around him.  He is a very fine young man – smart, loving, loyal, hard-working – I could go on and on.  If you can help him in even the smallest way to be able to continue his education, I encourage you to do so.

Colleen McKerley:
I have known Emmanuel ("Eman") for over a year through working with him in remodeling homes. During that time, I have witnessed his quiet strength, perseverance, and loyalty. His personality shines when he talks about his goals and ambitions, and especially how God has continued to open doors for him – providing the path to come to America, being by his side during his time at CCAC,  bringing him work opportunities, and leading him to WVU.

These past few months my husband has been part of a team teaching Emmanuel how to drive. During their hours in the car they have had discussions about life and faith, and it is clear that Eman's maturity and serious nature have helped him prepare for this next hurdle. He is truly a deserving individual who will take advantage of all opportunities to show his work ethic and value. 

I work at Light of Life Rescue Mission, and I’ve witnessed many times how giving a person a small hand up can dramatically change the trajectory of their life. I know by giving this young man such a chance the payback will be enormous as Eman continues his journey and we see all that God has planned for him. We hope others will bless him, too!


Anne Kemerer:
I have known Eman for over 3 years as we've worked side-by-side doing house rehab.  I was initially struck by this teenager’s quiet demeanor and non-stop work.  I’ve watched him as he has tackled the most challenging and the most menial jobs equally – by squaring his shoulders and starting to work.  He doesn’t complain, loaf, take advantage or do anything other than an excellent job. I recently bought a home of my own, and I’ve hired Eman to do scores of different jobs for me, large and small.

In the past year, I’ve helped teach Eman how to drive, and the hours in close proximity have let me see another side of him as he jokes, talks about his family and his dreams, and asks questions - and more questions, and more questions – about American culture, how I raised my children, thorny ethical issues...and the “Pittsburgh Left”, among many other things!

We were blessed to be able to send our two children to college and pay for it all – they never had to worry about whether they could afford to go or give a thought to the consequences of not going.  I look at Emmanuel as he thinks every single day about whether his future lies in college or whether he will have to return to Nigeria.  I would like to reward the amazing work and character of this young man by helping to ease those worries.  I hope you can help!

  • Anonymous 
    • $65 
    • 49 mos
  • Theodore Andersen 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $60 
    • 50 mos
  • William Cunningham 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Emmanuel (2)

Anne Kemerer 
Raised $1,950 from 20 donations
Pittsburgh, PA
Pamela Howard-Tripp 
Team member
Raised $65 from 1 donation

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