First-class Mathematics graduate who went viral after sharing photos of himself farming, bags PhD scholarship in US

Emmanuel Nworie, a first-class mathematics graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka has bagged a fully-funded scholarship at a university in the United States.

Nworie bagged the scholarship after a photo of him tilling the soil in Ebonyi state owing to poverty and a lack of a platform to utilize his knowledge went viral on social media.’

The 27-year-old who graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 4.92/5.00, recounted the challenges he faced before he applied for the Michael Taiwo (MT) Scholarship  in an interview with The Cable. 

Nworie said; 

“I started having challenges in 2005 when we struggled with the health of my dad. I have long wanted to be a mathematician. But after my dad passed away, I was deterred because at some point when I was trying to save for undergraduate studies and after two years I couldn’t save enough, so I was frustrated.”

The UNN graduate emerged as one of the 23 candidates selected from a pool of 1,509 applicants for the scholarship, covering costs for application fees and the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) — a requirement for the graduate application for some courses in the US.

He received three offers from universities in the southern part of the US. Taiwo who made the announcement said; 

“Today, I am pleased to announce that Emmanuel Chinweuba Nworie has accepted a fully-funded offer to study for his PhD in Mathematics at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. SMU is a prestigious private research university. Emmanuel prefers locations with warm weather. He received three great offers, all from schools in the southern part of the US. 

“Mentors are our secret sauce. It is hard to exaggerate the role Dr. Busayo Aworunse, Emmanuel’s assigned mentor, played in delivering the outcome we celebrate today. Busayo, thank you. Help me congratulate Emmanuel. I cannot wait to see what he does with a Math PhD from SMU!”

Speaking with TheCable, Taiwo described Nworie’s achievement as remarkable. He said;

“He still feels the rage and sadness I spoke about a couple of months ago, but I feel happy for him in particular and hope in general that we can make a difference. 

“He is going to one of the best universities in the world. SMU is a costly school, more expensive than Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale. He will be schooling with people from the richest families in the world. This is the kind of exposure we (the MT Scholarship team) and he felt like he needed so that he can think big with his God-endowed brain. 

“It costs over $75,000 per year to attend SMU. Emmanuel won’t pay a single dollar out of this. In addition to this, he will be given a very generous stipend to cater for his living expenses. The interesting thing is that he got three of this type of offers from Southern Methodist University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the University of Texas at Dallas.”

When asked about his advice for other distinguished graduates who share similar stories like Nworie, Taiwo said such people should endeavour to utilise the internet to access available opportunities.

“I would say they should keep up hope and try to move to a city where they can have access to the internet. As you can remember from Emmanuel’s story, his breakthrough came because he was in Enugu when the application window for the annual Michael Taiwo Graduate School Application scholarship was open. 

“If he had been at his farm in Ebonyi, he would have missed this generation-changing opportunity. So my advice is that they should relocate to where they can get access to information, i.e. the internet.”