It is a fresh start with hope in the New Year for Master Divine Etetim Willie, SS1 student of West African Peoples Institute, (WAPI), Calabar, Cross River State, whose future like many others had been rather bleak.
In fact, it was a struggle and miracle for him to get to his present class due to his poor background.
Though brilliant, coming from a state that has many young children hawking on the streets of Lagos and Abuja or serving as house-help, and not wanting to be one of them agitated his mind.
An answer to his prayer came the way of a scholarship scheme for indigent students, which was announced by the school principal, Mrs. Mercy Etim.
The school’s 1997 set awarded scholarships to 12 students in junior and secondary classes that would cover payment of their WAEC and NECO fees.
Etetim was among the 12 beneficiaries, which included Idongesit Francis Eton, Elisha Samuel Offiong, Cletus Ekwere Edem, Favour Thompson Okon in the junior secondary category; and Otu Archibvong Nyong, Divine Ikechukwu Amadi, Sunday Joseph, John Ekpenyong and Andem Etim Effiong in the senior secondary category.
At the formal presentation of the scholarships on December 29, 2018, chairman of the occasion, Ansa E. Ansa, also an old student, showered praises on the 1997 set for their benevolence.
He particularly singled out Mr. Emmanuel Umohinyang, one of them for rescuing the school from a state of hopelessness through several intervention initiatives.
Responding, Umohinyang, whose foundation partnered with the 1997 set for the scholarship, said the initiative is just one of the avenues through which they are giving back to WAPI.
“Whatever we are doing today is our way of giving back to our roots. I almost could not write my WAEC despite three extensions of date during our final year, but for our principal, Mrs. Mbang, who rallied support for me, after discovering that I had not paid for my exams because I was an orphan.”