Dr Israel Osagie, a graduate of medicine, University of Benin hails from Oghada Village in Isi of Uhumwonde LGA of Edo State. The First child in a polygamous family of 8, where life was relatively uncertain, having lost his mother during a botched surgery in his second year in medical school coupled with the passion to inspire and impact on lives of people anywhere he may be, saw the medical profession as the key to fulfilling all these goals and aspirations.
He had his secondary school education at Accord group of schools located off Dumez Road, Benin City, but due to lack of funds, had to drop out at the time before he secured funds from working added with some support to take his WASSCE at Harvard Educational Centre where he got his result in his first sitting (B’s/C’s), Legitschoolgists gathered. We decided to have a one on one conversation with him in order to unravel the mystery behind his securing 10 scholarship awards right from his second year in the University.
His words: ”On securing admission with flying colours in UME/POST UME into the school of medicine during 2008/2009 session at the University of Benin, I had one major issue, Finance. My father of blessed memory back then was elated at my prospects as this was his dream for me, but at the other end, was withdrawn seeing me having to struggle with finance because he couldn’t support me due to his unemployed status at the time.
Seeing my result coupled with my aspirations, I was determined to make it work despite no near sight of financial sponsorship. I did tell my father to offer prayers and goodwill for me as I will surmount this financial obstacle to meet my financial needs.
Finally got into school of medicine, did a part time job with an academic for most of my first year and this almost affected my academics, but for sheer purpose of passion and determination, I fought hard to ensure success in my exams and to succeed at all cost as I saw myself as mirror to others who saw hope in me and needed to draw inspiration.
During this phase of financial struggles, I started gathering all the possible information I could about scholarships as I saw it as the single most viable option from my financial woes so as not to have a negative impact on my training in medical school.
Following these various information I had gathered online, learnt tips and all that too from experience and other information I devoured, I started applying in my first year in medical school. I applied for everything that came my way in my first year but wasn’t even shortlisted or given the chance to compete in one of the exams. This experience almost depressed me. I felt that despite my eligible credentials, I wasn’t even offered an opportunity to compete and I said to myself and prayed to God also saying that God can’t take me this far to abandon me, and if I must succeed, I must stay persistent, I must win. So I made the resolve to even purse scholarships with more tenacity.
During my second year in med school, I doubled my effort towards application, and these efforts eventually paid off. First scholarship I won was an Essay based competition organized by Edo Association of Southern California (Nedoye) worth $1,200 at the time for students of Edo State origin. Most of my colleagues applied and we all wrote the essay and submitted. I eventually was the only candidate shortlisted from college of medical sciences. I was given a call some 4 weeks later that they had tried reaching me to no avail and they wish to bring to my notice that I had won the scholarship and therefore send my credentials to be paid in instalments. This was the ray of sunshine in my story to succeed.
During same time, I was shortlisted for aptitude exams of Total Undergraduate scholarship (#150,000/session) and Agbami Undergraduate Scholarship (#200,000/session), both of which I won also. Going from this onward, I was shortlisted for others, all of which I won:
- Seplat Petroleum – #150,000/session
- Jim Ovia Foundation (MUSTE) – #150,000/session
- Rev Tony Akinyemi Foundation – #100,000/session
- Hill City Foundation – #40,000/session
- Matthew Egbandon Foundation – #100,000/session
- Alif Foundation – #100,000/session
- Clifford Imudia Foundation – #70,000/session
In 2014/2015, I won a competition to be one of two Google ambassadors from University of Benin representing Nigeria.
In 2017, I was shortlisted and sponsored for an FG Huawei technologies ICT Training at, The Huawei facility in Abuja”.
He gave a piece of advice to students who are afraid to go on with their academic pursuits, dreams and goals due to their family’s financial situation, also to those at the verge of giving up applying for scholarships.
He said; ”Well, I will say, I don’t even think of giving up as an option. It’s not an option! Even till this day, I still impact various students across the various sphere of Undergraduate, Postgraduate levels via my YEFS Scholarship Group created since 2013 where I have mentored various sets of these students till this day to win several of these scholarships, attain financial independence and achieve their dreams regardless of where they come from or who they are, and I keep reteirating this statement, ‘Possibilities are endless If only you will believe in yourself, work hard and keep giving life your best shot….for it can only get better’. Thank you