University of Cambridge

Supporting a Dream: Chinwe to Cambridge

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My name is Chinwe Oriji. I am from Trenton, NJ of Nigerian origin. I recently graduated from Rutgers University this spring with a double major in Africana Studies and Public Health. When I think about my future, I see myself becoming a professor, working in a non-profit, and sharing my testimony through public speaking but I never imagined the University of Cambridge as being a part of the plan.

Prior to applying to Cambridge, I never felt like I was “good enough” or “smart enough” to attend this school. I made every excuse in the book. I didn’t have private school education. I didn’t go to an Ivy League university for undergrad. This fear almost hindered me from applying. But I decided to put that fear aside and apply. On Thanksgiving of 2012, I found out I was accepted to the University of Cambridge in the UK to obtain my Masters in Modern Society and Global Transformations! This acceptance is a direct testament of my parents’ struggle.

I am a child of Nigerian immigrants. My parents were born and raised in a village in Abia State, Nigeria. As children, they survived the 1967-1970 Biafra war, in which over 1 million people died. During the 1980’s, my parents left their family and everything they knew with barely any cash in their pocket to come to the United States in hopes of achieving the “American Dream.” They wanted to give their children a better future. In 2004, my father suffered from a major stroke that left him disabled so my mother is the sole provider of a family of seven. Therefore, to see where they came from to now having their child to be the first to attend what is equivalent to a U.S ivy-league school is truly a blessing.

Attending the University of Cambridge is not only about me. This opportunity is bigger than me. I hope to share my testimony to inspire others to dream bigger and beyond what they think is possible. I want to show others that no matter where you come from, your educational attainment, or how much money you have or don’t have you can follow your dreams and you are more than good enough!

With this ambition, I am on a mission to raise funds for Cambridge. Over the last eight months since I was accepted to Cambridge I raised $7,000 through scholarships and monetary gifts but still have $36,000 left to raise in two months. I know this is a big amount to fund in such a short period of time but through faith and your support I know we can do this!

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