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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Nigerian Graduate Who Failed WAEC 17 Times Shines In USA

    Demola Akinyemi


    Sometime in November 2019 Emmanuel Oluwasayomi Ahmadu, a graduate of Mass Communications University of Benin was carrying out his One-year National Youth Service Corps assignment in Kwara state, granted audience to the state Correspondent, Demola Akinyemi, in Vanguard office Ilorin on how he sat for WAEC/GCE examinations for seventeen times all because he didn’t want to cut corners, before he secured admission into the University of Benin, in Edo state. It was widely published in our Online back then, precisely on December,1,2019.

    Emmanuel’s story is a testament to resilience and determination, akin to Dr. Ben Carson’s. He first gained international attention in 2018 when he won the International Award for Student Brand of the Year in West Africa while an undergraduate at the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

    Emmanuel who graduated in Mass Communication from the University of Benin in 2018, received recognition from the Vice-Chancellor as an extraordinary student whose achievements were archived in the university’s main library to inspire hope in others.

    He was also recognized as the Most Innovative Student in Nigeria, Media Personality of the Year, and received several other prestigious awards for his impactful initiatives and media influence.

    Shortly after his service year, fortune smiled on Emmanuel as his family raised funds for him from Church, Cooperatives and loans from banks with which he proceeded to study in USA.

    The Global Changemaker, Emmanuel popularly known as ‘Mr. Voiceover,’ in a chat with Vanguard Correspondent said he was admitted into Cleveland State University in the USA in 2021 for graduate studies in School Counseling, even though he still work with the professors there.

    “But I needed to transfer to Cuyahoga Community College to get the basic background into Human Services and get closer access to community resources and programs about the field I’m equipping myself for.” he added .

    He also said that on June 4,2024 he was honored with an academic honorary Doctorate Degree in International Affairs (DIA) from Global Seminary University, New York, USA stressing that,”This recognition, in collaboration with GEPEA University, Portugal, acknowledges my distinguished contributions to the promotion of peace and sustainable mental wellness and hope globally.

    “Additionally,I have been honored as a Professional Doctoral Fellow by The Across Global Institute of Foreign Languages (AGIFL) for my impactful use of English as a foreign language to create positive changes across the world.My remarkable journey from overcoming significant educational and personal challenges to making significant global impacts in mental health advocacy and suicide prevention has earned me these prestigious honors.”he said.

    His contributions to mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and curbing social misconduct among adolescents and youths across nations have been profound.

    Emmanuel’s innovative approaches and advocacy efforts according to him,have reached over 10 million young people globally through various school mental awareness programs, media engagements, and interviews with prominent media outlets such as Vanguard Newspapers, BBC News (Pidgin), ITV, Galaxy TV,and Arise TV News, among others.

    In the USA, Emmanuel has made significant strides. As a Student Government President and Vice President of the Joint Student Council Board across five campuses of Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, his administration brought hope and connected students to essential resources, including mental health support.

    He stated that his impact earned him numerous awards, including “Distinguished Student Leader with a Big Heart” from the College and “Outstanding Mental Health Advocate of the Year” by the Active Minds Organization.

    Currently, Emmanuel said he serves the Federal Government as a Peer Reviewer and Judge with the United States Federal Department of Education for the School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) and Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration (MHSP) grant programs.

    His role highlights his expertise and commitment to advancing mental health services across all educational institutions to impacts young people in America.

    Emmanuel’s further involvement with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in Ohio State demonstrates his dedication to this cause.

    He actively contributes to three AFSP State Board committees: the Walk Committee, the Advocacy Committee, and the Education Committee. His efforts have significantly advanced suicide prevention initiatives and mental health education, earning him numerous awards, including Advocate of the Year in Ohio State at the Annual Mental Health First Aid Summit in 2023.

    Reflecting on these honor, Emmanuel stated, “Receiving these honorary Doctorate Honors is not just a recognition of my past efforts but a catalyst for future impact. It reinforces my commitment to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention, and I am inspired to collaborate with young champions and survivors to create a supportive environment for all to rise.”

    Emmanuel’s research proposal and paper presentation through the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative partnered with Case Western Reserve University, USA, on “Fostering Mental Health Awareness and Preventing Social Misconducts among Adolescents and Youths- using a multifaceted approach,” emphasizes the critical importance of mental health awareness and innovative approaches to prevent adolescent and youth suicide.

    His initiatives, such as the R.I.S.E Global Voices Organization, aim to address these issues by promoting resilience, inclusion, self-care, and empowerment among adolescents and youth.

    His vision includes launching a social networking platform to connect young champions/survivors of different traumatic experiences across the world, training and supporting them to help others struggling in silence.

    Futhermore, part of his vision for the future includes launching collaborative projects with local and international human services agencies, leveraging his role and recognition to foster global partnerships aimed at tackling mental health challenges. His dedication to this cause and his innovative approaches continue to inspire hope and resilience in young people worldwide.

    By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

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