From Hardship, Almost Being Homeless, to Attending One of London's Top Universities
Arinze Nwanna, 21, is an intelligent student with plans of pursuing a Master's degree in financial technology at Imperial College London. After graduating with honours from University College London (UCL) in chemical engineering, Nwanna has high hopes.
Currently raising funds to attend one of the top business schools in the country, Nwanna, who grew up in hardship has gone from being bullied in Nigeria for being the "only white-looking kid in the classroom," to almost living on the streets of East London.
Nwanna, the last of four children would share a single room in Woodford with his mother who slept on the floor with his brothers while he shared a bed with his sister.
"It was really tough and we could rarely eat properly. For the first couple of months, we ate bread and water, or bread and milk and sometimes bread and egg," Nwanna says.
His family was always on pins and needles, dreading eviction from the small box room or, equally terrifying, someone discovering their living circumstances and denouncing them to authorities.
"We couldn't go out, speak to anyone or go to anyone's house - we stayed in the house every day and once in a while (she would take us) to the park," Nwanna continued.
Going from primary school to primary school, the family almost came close to becoming homeless, however, their landlord became so concerned about their living condition, therefore provided them with a month to move out.
In 2009, things started to look up for his family as a result of his mother securing a stable nursing job and Nwanna attending All-saints Catholic school with an interest in mathematics. However, many of his classmates had turned to crime.
"I was in Year 9 when I realised I could not enter this gang life going on around me and focused on my studies," he said.
Moreover, his brother had been stabbed outside of school making it difficult for Nwanna to focus on his studies. Nevertheless, by remaining focused he succeeded resulting in him becoming one of seven students chosen to study maths further.
Achieving an A*AA at A–level, the highest academic grade in his family, he was accepted into UCL studying chemical engineering and achieving a first-class degree.
Nwanna saved money from his church piano performances and clubs to pay for his university housing, sometimes collecting as much as £200 per week.
With great perseverance and a dream of studying for a FinTech Masters at Imperial Business School, Nwanna is now raising funds to take him to his next stage of life.
"Despite the hardships littered across life, one can transform their lives and that of those around them," Nwanna says.
His long-term goal is to use his FinTech expertise to establish a nonprofit that will finance and mentor young children from underprivileged homes in order for them to become change-makers in society.
Nwanna's campaign to raise funds to study for his masters can be found here.
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