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Michael Tomori: From 6 JAMB Attempts to Researcher at Kent State University

Michael Tomori: From 6 JAMB Attempts to Researcher at Kent State University

Are you feeling discouraged and ready to give up on your dreams? Look no further than the story of Michael Tomori, a researcher at Kent State University who faced seemingly insurmountable odds on his journey to success.

In a LinkedIn post, Michael Tomori, a researcher at Kent University, shares the story of how he spent 7 years at home after completing his secondary education, waiting for admission into a tertiary institution. According to him, as at 2014, he had already written the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination six times and had his lowest score that year. JAMB is a Nigerian government agency that administers the country’s unified tertiary matriculation examination, which is a mandatory test for all students seeking admission into Nigerian universities, polytechnics, and other higher education institutions. If a candidate scores lower than the Cutoff mark, they will not be able to gain admission into any Nigerian university for that academic year and will need to retake the examination in the next academic year if they still wish to pursue higher education in Nigeria.

“It was my 7th year after leaving secondary school. I was discouraged and frustrated about life and why admissions weren’t forthcoming. I was behind in everything and felt my progress was slow. At one point, I thought it was my destiny not to go to the university.” – said Michael Tomori.

But despite these setbacks, Michael kept going. He had a strong will and determination to succeed, and he knew that his time would come. He didn’t feel ashamed to ask for help when needed and always clapped for others who were winning because he knew that someday, people would clap for him too.

In the end, Michael’s persistence paid off. In 2014, after the cutoff mark was reduced, he got admission to Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria, to study Mechanical Engineering. He has since gone on to inspire countless other students by founding the Digital Career Skills Initiative for Africa (DCSI Africa), a youth-led NGO addressing the serious concern of the high rate of unproductive youths and unemployment in Africa, most especially Nigeria, and raising responsible minds who would take part in Nation and Economical building across Africa and also help all level professionals to transition into new roles. Michael graduated with a second class upper division, and proceeded for his graduate studies at Kent State University where he specializes in Robotics Research.

He said, “After that experience, I have encouraged and inspired hundreds of undergraduate students especially secondary school leavers about my story and those on the verge of giving up. One of the stories I can’t forget was about a young man that walked up to me during one of my presentations. He said that he had given up on school and that my story about writing six JAMB exams inspired him and that he would try again. Eventually, he got into the university that year after 3 attempts. Sometimes, your challenges could be a source of inspiration to others and even a pointer to greatness. The honest truth was that I had no idea of what the future held for me or what I would become but I was persistent and determined because I knew there was a reward for every good labor. When your time comes, even your “chi” would be in your favour. Your dreams are valid. No excuses, always remember that your situation or background is the more reason why you should succeed. Your future self is begging you never to give up until you win.”

Michael’s story is a powerful reminder that failure is not the end, but rather a stepping stone to success. Imagine the delay, the setbacks, the failures that made him feel like going to the University was not his destiny. But at the end, he went further than just getting his first degree, to also begin his graduate studies at a prestigious University. This is a reminder to never give up on our dreams, to ask for help when we need it, and to always keep pushing forward. And no matter where we come from or what obstacles we face, we have the power to achieve our dreams with determination and persistence.

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