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11 Years after the Sosoliso Crash…BNers, Let’s Invest in Kechi Okwuchi’s Future

BellaNaija.com

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Kechi 4
Hello BellaNaijarians,
Remember Kechi Okwuchi from Our Stories, Our Miracles series on BN, you can read her story below.
Well, she needs help right now.

***

Note: Graphic Images

My name is Kechi Okwuchi, a 26 year old Nigerian currently living and working in Texas, United States, and I am in dire need of financial support for my impending master’s program, which begins this August 2016 at University of St. Thomas, Houston.

11 years ago, I was in a plane crash that took the lives of 107 out of a 109 passengers. I was one of the 2 survivors. I suffered third-degree burns over 65% of my body, and ever since the accident, my life has been a series of difficult surgeries and reconstructive operations, all to give me back some independence and the much needed strength to continue living life as normally as possible.
Kechi 3

Kechi 2

Kechi 1
Last year, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of St. Thomas with a BBA in Economics. I have since been working at a non-profit organization in Houston. Though it has been rewarding, as an undergraduate, I had no time for internships because I was always in and out of surgery, so it was that much harder to find a paid job after graduating, especially as an international student.

I intend to continue my studies here in America, and I have long received admission to a UST masters program: an MBA in Economics. The tuition for the 2-year program is $36,138; an amount that my family simply cannot afford. I have searched for graduate scholarships over the past year, and even though my undergraduate GPA more than qualifies me for these scholarships, the fact that I am a non-U.S. citizen ultimately disqualifies me as a potential recipient. My other option would be to go back home and apply to a Nigerian university, but my burn injuries and multiple skin grafts make living in Nigeria impossible because of the extreme weather conditions and persistent, country-wide power outages. Moreover, my younger sister, now 16, starts college next year, and even with the help of the available scholarships for which she qualifies, my parents are still struggling to ensure that her fees are fully covered when the time comes. It would surely be a blessing to be able to relieve them of the pressure of somehow providing for both myself and my sister.
Kechi 5
Please, I urge you to invest in me, in my future. Working with United Nations has been a dream of mine from my freshman year at UST, and I believe that with a BBA and an MBA in Economics, my chances of gaining an internship with the UN, WHO, World Bank or other such international organizations would multiply greatly.

I do hope that my request garners a favorable response from you all.

Thank you for reading!
***
So far, over $19,145 has been raised. The goal is $36,100.
Let’s help her get there.
Here is the link

66 Comments

  1. nmadeevah

    July 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    O wow, am touched, I really wish I could help. May your dreams and aspirations become realities in Jesus Name, Amen!

    • jummai

      July 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      i think its only for US citizens and permanent residents. shes therefore not eligible.

  2. Wedey

    July 20, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I rejoice at how far she has come.

    However can she not take a student loan? So many students, including yours truly, took that route and are repaying after securing a job.

    • Abk

      July 20, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Did you read the part where she said she’s an international student? International students aren’t eligible for student loans. If it was an option; she won’t be asking for assistance.

    • CurvesAndEdges

      July 20, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      This is untrue. If she is able to get a cosigner, she is eligible to apply for student loans, regardless of her international status. In fact, a handful of schools go out in faith and give loans without a cosigner – but they are very few.

      Also many schools give part or full scholarships. She does not have to go to this particular school if they are unable to offer her any funding.

      *Speaking from experience*

      PS: Not trying to discourage people from donating to her, just want to clarify some points.

    • I Said So

      July 21, 2016 at 12:25 am

      False!! International students qualify for loans. Smh
      They will collect loan for car, house, credit card but not for education….mmkay gur

    • Abi

      July 21, 2016 at 12:51 am

      This is not the place for an argument, but to clarify, international students are eligible for private loans in the United States.. Citibank, Discover and many others offer loans to international students; albeit with higher interest rates than government loans.

      I do think this young lady is inspiring, and it will be wonderful if she can achieve her dream given all she has been through. More blessings to you, Kechi.

    • Abi

      July 21, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Also, you will need someone to put themselves on the line (aka co-signer) for you to get that loan. Hope this clarifies why it may be difficult for her to get a student loan.

    • temi

      July 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

      well she can have a waiver if she has good grades! abi? though i sympathize with her… but we all have problems and debts, and families to support back home

    • Eva

      July 21, 2016 at 12:17 am

      She is an International student sigh!

    • Morenikeji

      July 21, 2016 at 1:21 am

      So with all shes been through you think thats the best you could come up with. To saddle herself with more baggage abi? Clap for yourself.

  3. nene

    July 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    i’m sorry but she should come back home. you cant keep seeking for funds, no offense. you have a great result and a good degree. your reason for not coming home is invalid because everyone in Nigeria knows your story, most of the funds you got were from Nigerians, and you will definitely have more opportunities in Nigeria. Just say you want to live in America. I’m sorry but i wont be donating, even though i donated in the past. I wish you luck.

    • Baby gurl

      July 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      I’m sorry for you too. Her reasons are valid contrary to your unneeded opinion. Why couldn’t you just read and ignore if you didn’t have anything nice to say today. God bless your heart to be more open.

    • purple showers

      July 20, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      @Nene… I think ds is rather harsh. Pls wish her well in her endeavours instead of d comments. Surviving A tragedy & d truama is no joke. Pls let’s be our brothers keeper. Hopefully d Sun wl shine on her request. ???

    • le coco

      July 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      @ What is your problem.. did you read at all.. The girl is constantly undergoing surgery after surgery.. IS IT IN NIGERIA SHE WILL RECEIVE SKIN GRAFTS? If she moves back to Nigeria will you foot her plane ticket to go back to the US everytime she has a surgery? Please apply small sense .. If u don’t wnt to help please shift

    • Henry

      July 21, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Is it in Nigeria she would receive skin grafts? Seriously? How low do u really think the medical sector in Nigeria is? I mean leave the trash public hospitals and focus on the private.. I would be donating for her cause, but her reason for not wanting to return to Nigeria is entirely crap. I understand she wld have built a more social and integral structure in the USA, and its completely understandable if she wants to live there.

    • christine

      July 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Nigerian don’t read.plz read nd re read before making comment nest tyme @nene

    • Hawtspot

      July 20, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      @nene…u obviously read the write up but chose to give it a dingy interpretation that befits a dingy mind like yours. Considering her skin condition she may not be able to live in extremely hot weather like Nigeria with no steady power supply. Its better to keep quiet Nene if u have nothing sensible to say…u are not obligated in anyway to assist her but don’t be a dream killer.

    • Anonymous

      July 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Really Nene?

    • Neo

      July 21, 2016 at 12:39 am

      You are actually a foolish girl.

    • LW

      July 21, 2016 at 3:48 am

      Kechi, I wish you the absolute best and I pray God to bring you helpers so you can achieve your dreams .in Jesus name. Amen

    • Peace

      July 21, 2016 at 7:08 am

      @Nene show us your prove of previous donations, sometimes people like u needs to stay in kindergarten class till d end of life, U think she is happy. In this situation living in US , she would have prefare to be normal and live in Nigrtia than be sick and live in abroad, kachi. dear favor will meet u my baby

    • Idomagirl

      July 21, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Next time read properly before commenting.
      It’s not by force to give your opinion.

    • Anon

      July 21, 2016 at 8:46 am

      nene – that’s your mantra “come back home.” Why are you opposed to people who live in the diaspora? It’s similar to your comment about “it’s not your country” re-the British Referendum posts. I remember you typed that you went to a British boarding school and it gave you a good grounding in life and so on. Some people didn’t have the opportunity when you did (that early) and now they have the opportunity to school and live abroad as adults, Why not be happy for them? I like a lot of your comments, but not this one.

    • Anonymous

      July 21, 2016 at 8:57 am

      she didnt go to any British boarding school. She’s just a storyteller. I don’t even want to say anything insulting, but she lied about that and clearly has a grudge against people that studied abroad

    • Okeosisi

      July 21, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Did u not see where she said the weather isn’t right for the degree of her burns? Do u not know that she might still has more surgeries to undergo? U pained soul if u can’t donate to her cause y don’t u just say a prayer for her n shut ur mouth. Ow much did you even donate that ur making noise? Paste ur acc here lemme pay u back. Mtcheewwwwww

    • Moving on Swiftly

      July 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Nene, Please try to be a bit sensitive in this case. I would advise she stays in America forever if she can. Trust me, the health sector is disgusting in Nigeria. She may die or struggle with severe infections because of negligence, insensitivity, carelessness and poor ethics of our health professionals in Nigeria. I am a living testimony that has been through hell in various Nigerian hospitals because of minor issues related to my condition that has been badly managed in this country even by so called foreign trained clueless Nigerian doctors. Please let her remain there. If you cannot donate, do not discourage other people. Kachi, please make sure you do your research correctly and get better advise because I definitely know there are other ways you can explore with your good grades as well. However, it looks like time might also be the contributory factor that left you with this option. Is there a Nigerian account you would like donations to go to? Things are tough in the country even for the rich but I’m sure some people can rally round. I’d like to. Stay strong.

    • enny

      July 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Come back and do wht in 9ja? we dat we r complete still searching 4 job including study in Aboard…pls with or without u going back 4 ur master don’t think of coming back

  4. Baby gurl

    July 20, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Kechi baby I have the greatest conviction that He in heaven that has seen you through all these years will raise this funds for you in no time. Your friends and family love you. God loves you and shall never fail you. May God bless and enlarge the territory of those who take their time to pray, donate or simply spread the word In Jesus name Amen.

  5. Naijatalk

    July 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Kechi, having known you from school, and watched your remarkable progress, I’ll be blessed to be a blessing to you. Love you

  6. Somto

    July 20, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Bella this ur info is not complete now. Where do we pay in the donations.

    • Anon

      July 21, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Read again. There’s a “here’s the link” right at the end.

  7. Needtodonate

    July 20, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Okay. I want to pay but it cannot be through cards. My GTB card has a 1500 dollar monthly limit that i have already exhausted, same goes my other cards with lesser limits. Can we get a Nigerian account number that we can use to achieve this? I am sure a lot more people would be able to contribute that way. Please let me know when you have one.

    Thank you.

  8. So

    July 20, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    One option you could have taken is to find an advisor that would be wiling to accept her for a graduate assistantship position. I am glad you are alive and wel, Kechil, your life+story is a miracle. May God provide for you and your parents richly, and crown all your efforts with success.

  9. Lizzy

    July 21, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Kechi, der is nothing God cannot do I have nothing to offer but I pray to God that favour will come your way and you shall smile again. God bless and protect you and give you all your heart desire

  10. Weezy

    July 21, 2016 at 12:53 am

    I really want this lady to succeed. My concern is that she isn’t being advised properly.

    There is no such thing as an MBA in economics. Either you do an MBA OR you do an MA/MS in Economics.

    If you want to work for the UN, it requires either fantastic language skills (you must be fluent in french or Spanish or Arabic) or developing country experience, or a degree from a top ranked school. If you want an MBA, please apply to a school that is a recognized name – top 30 MBA program at least. Top programs tend to have plenty of scholarships that are available to international students, because their alumni are rich and can afford to give back. And if you graduate from a top program, employers are more likely to hire you..

    Kechi. Please don’t go to university of st Thomas for your MBA. Study for the GMAT or GRE, then apply to UT Austin.

    I wish you the best.

    • Abi

      July 21, 2016 at 1:06 am

      I work within the UN system and I only speak English and my mother tongue. I think the language requirement you speak of may be a bit outdated. There are several skills (outside of language) that are useful. There are economists, psycologists, doctors, lawyers, zoologists all working on development issues.

      There are also several people with MBA’s in the system. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) for example, targets MBA’s who want to work on private sector around the world. There may be a reason why she is applying to St. Thomas that we don’t know. Please let’s encourage her.

    • Weezy

      July 21, 2016 at 4:19 am

      I’ve worked in the UN system as well. The IFC and World Bank do attract MBAs. My understanding however was that she wanted to work for the UN, not the specialized agencies. While IFC is part of the UN system, someone who works for the IFC isn’t going to say “I work for the UN”. They’ll say “I work for the IFC”.

      I get what you are saying, and I want to encourage her. But I also believe in reality. If she were my sister or cousin, I will be saying the exact same thing to her. I really want her to succeed. If she decides to go to St Thomas, she needs to be aware that she will be competing with people from brand name schools for jobs at the UN, World Bank, etc.. Unless she has something else to offer (eg. a strong resume, developing country experience, several languages) it will be unnecessarily difficult. Its not impossible of course. But she will need to hustle to prove that she is just as good as the people who went to brand names.

    • Weezy

      July 21, 2016 at 4:20 am

      I see she mentioned World Bank. I stand corrected on that point.

    • Mamacita

      July 21, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Weezy, what are you talking about? I worked at the UN too but did not attend a “brand name” school. I didn’t speak a second language at the time and had a specialised MBA too. Don’t kill her dreams abeg. People follow different paths to get similar results.

    • Hawtspot

      July 21, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Thank you for such great advice, hope she gets to read it.

    • Idomagirl

      July 21, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Maybe she’s applying to St. Thomas because it’s not as expensive as those “top” schools?

    • Chic_hijabi

      July 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      St Thomas is expensive..its a private catholic University…one of the top rated in Texas.

    • Anonymous

      July 21, 2016 at 9:00 am

      if she goes to Harvard will you pay her fees? Also, I know her family and she has to pretty much be in that Houston area because that’s where the proffessional burns hospital is. You think that someone who went to university there doesn’t know the system as well as you do? And ps, the educational and job-seeking system is very different from the way it was 5 years ago. Typical Nigerians, ever so ready to give advice that’s not needed or wanted.

    • Weezy

      July 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Three things. First. she is asking the public for money. Once you ask people for money, you lose any right to get angry at them for giving you advice. The smart thing to do is to ignore the advise if it isn’t useful and go your way.

      Second, did you read my comment about how brand name schools have MORE scholarships? If she has good grades as she claims, she may pay less at a known school than she will at St Thomas because the known school has MBA fellowships!

      Third. Tell me where I mentioned Harvard. I very clearly stated that she should apply to UT Austin. Or now I think of it, Rice University is in Houston.

    • Wendy

      July 21, 2016 at 9:11 am

      You forgot Russian and Chinese. These are the official UN Languages. Plus apply for internships, that’s one leg in. I’ve worked there previously, so I know how it goes.
      But I really do think that if she has a good result like stated, there are a number of scholarships she can get. I did my Masters and Ph.D with scholarships, so I am surprised that with her good results she is unable to get, unless she has other reasons or just really want to go to the school she got her Bachelors from. Moreover, If her parents can still afford to send her younger sister abroad, they can still divert the funds to her since she is in a position that need it more (not being able to live in Nigeria). I am only saying what many may not want to say, there are people whose children are studying in Nigeria and wish they can afford an overseas education even for one of their child, yet your parents are trying to send all their kids to school abroad. Good for your family, but certainly seems some how to me.

  11. Lilian

    July 21, 2016 at 12:58 am

    @nene may common sense visit your house hold in Jesus name. Amen !! Like the others said if you have nothing positive to contribute please keep quiet and keep it moving you bitter monitoring spirit. (Ewu)

  12. Steez

    July 21, 2016 at 7:31 am

    @nene PLAIN STUPID!

  13. Ami

    July 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

    @ nene: ur d most stupid badbelle dah eva lived, it’s either u dnt hv d sense to understand or u gat no heart. How are we even sure your fianacially fit evn to support ur hopeless self talk more anoda.
    #wohdifock. pls go to church

  14. thatafricanchic

    July 21, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I personally don’t have money to contribute but I wish you the very best as you pursue your dreams. Have you also tried applying for graduate assistanship? International students qualify for this.
    All the best

  15. anonymous

    July 21, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Hello BN!! Please can you ask for a local bank account detail that we can transfer too in nigeria to help raise funds. I’m sure it will be easier for people that are willing to help. Little drops make a mighty ocean. Thank you.

  16. Ever Green

    July 21, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Kechi Okwuchi, I wish you all the best in life, may you succeed wherever and in whatever you lay your hands upon.

    Your sorrow shall to turn to happiness and your story shall be the best source of inspiration to everyone and you shall find favor from God and human,

    Keep on shining dear because sky is just the beginning for you.

    I am saying all these because your story has inspire me and now I am counting my blessings because i have been ungrateful to God recently because of my own challenges.

    Kechi, I celebrate from the bottom of my heart.

  17. Asa

    July 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Haba some people talks as if they have been to America. Let me start off by saying that she needs to stay where she is because of the treatment Nigeria doctors might not have equipment to take care of her. Secondly is hard to get a loan down here talk more of international students. I don’t know her story and how she gets in the state but she needs Houston Texans from Africa to help rise money for her.

  18. meelikey

    July 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Dear ,God will provide more than you need. My arm got burnt some years back ,I remember my younger sister faning me till dawn because there was no light for the fan to do the job . To the nay Sayer’s ,I don’t think you fathom what she went through and probably will go through for the rest of her life so ‘peace be still’

  19. Lolo

    July 21, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I wish you all the goodwill you need to achieve your dreams.You are a beautiful miracle my dear.

  20. Dera

    July 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Kechi.
    I wish you all the best in life.
    You deserve to be happy!
    God will surely see you through girl.

  21. Lado

    July 21, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Kechi dear, don’t give up, just pray to God to direct your part, will try and contribute, can you give us a naira account. Please people, lets try and help out, even if it is with 1K, it will go a mighty long way. If Kechi was my sister, I won’t advise her to come back, with her skin condition and all that, only God knows what this lady is going through. Keep declaring Gods word over your life, I believe God will heal all your bruises and you will work where you desire to. God bless you dear

  22. tosin

    July 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    theyve come again. if you listened you would hear and see that the nigerian weather and circumstance isnt CONDUCIVE!!! common. ahn ahn. you yourself if you had the oppurtunity in 2016 will you school in nigeria with the strikes and all??? hian!!!

  23. tosin

    July 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    @nene

  24. NaijaPikin

    July 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    To the one saying she can get loans as an international student, she will need a permanent resident or citizen to cosign the loan. Cosigning the loan puts as much responsibility on the person because if she defaults, they are going to go after the cosigner. So it is not easy to find someone to cosign.

    You can do an MBA with a specialized focused in Economics. It just means your electives will be heavily econs classes.

    I do agree that there are better schools in Houston. UT is rated higher, they have a large international student population and will most likely have some financial support to cater to their intl students. She should not limit herself.

    Please she should remain in yankee. To the person saying naija has correct hospitals, please bring a list of correct hospitals for us to review. Ask yourself why all our so called leaders including our president go to foreign countries for even common check up.

  25. BellaNaija.com

    BellaNaija.com

    July 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks so much to every BellaNaijarians who donated! Since we published, there has been over $1000 raised in less than 24 hours. God bless.

    • MN

      July 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      God bless you BellaNaija for putting this out there. I don’t know Nkechi personally, but I’ve followed her story for while and I think she’s incredibly brave. The harsh weather conditions, inadequate electricity and the unprofessional attitude of many Nigerian Doctors make me believe it’s best for her to remain in the U.S.A. I pray more people donate to her cause.

  26. Stephen

    July 22, 2016 at 2:19 am

    There are many wealthy ex Loyola Jesuit parents that can foot her entire bill. Can we somehow get the school to print it in its newsletter?

  27. MN

    July 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    And also, her mum is really beautiful!

  28. ACDCng

    July 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    `Honestly! I pray for your kind of `courage. I remember the “before” picture and gorgeous and now still soon warm hearted. I have done my bit, I pray God will touch many others to do their bit , even if it is $50. . You are about half my age and yet have endured sooo much. I remember when Shell flew you out without hesistation to SA immediately after the crash and footed the bills for many surgeries. God Bless them and every well meaning individual on your journey to recovery and independence.

    I remain inspired by your courage in getting up every day and facing this cruel world. Stay Strong.

  29. susan

    June 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Thank God for His mercies upon ur life Kechi. I strongly believe dat d Lord has preserved ur life for a purpose. All u need at dis juncture is to invite Christ d healer into ur life and make Him ur Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9,10,13; Isaiah 53:5). Ask for His mercy and pray for divine healing. Once u’re saved in Christ Jesus, u’ll need to put ur faith to work and wait on d Lord in order to receive dis divine healing, as u study and apply d scriptures in prayer, which is actually not an easy task, as d things of d Spirit is often not flesh-friendly. Most importantly Kechi, I want u to know dis, dat no matter how long we all live in dis life, no matter what riches and educational status we attain in life, it will all come to an end one day, meaning dat every human being will die one day. But have u ever pondered over ur destination after ur earthly sojourn? Heaven, or hell is d destination of all human creatures, depending on who we live our lives for while on earth, Jesus, or Satan. No amount of wealth or education will bring eternal rest to our souls after death, if we do not give our lives to Christ. Kechi sincerely, what u need now is Christ. And my prayer is dat u’ll find Him soon, in Jesus’ mty nm, amen. God bless u, and I wish u well in life.

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