Dr. Promise Olomo was the first Central Scholarship alumni to present at Bagels with Jerry, our quarterly meet-and-greet breakfast series, which took place on April 17, 2019. His story is as compelling as it is inspirational, and the attendees loved hearing about his path to personal and professional success.
When Olomo came to the US from Nigeria, he struggled to afford food and clothing, much less an education. He had to drop out of college the first time around because he couldn’t afford the $50 deposit for room and board. His Resident Life Director told him, “In my 35 years of administration, I’ve never seen a student as poor as yourself.” When he heard that, Olomo’s stomach dropped (and then so did his enrollment). He lived with friends and worked odd jobs for three years until he decided to give his education another shot. He put his first semester costs at Prince George’s Community College on his credit card. He went to school Monday through Friday and worked 32 hours over the weekend (7am-11pm Saturdays and Sundays) to make ends meet.
He decided to look for scholarship opportunities to offset the cost of his education. At Bagels with Jerry, Dr. Olomo spoke about how much it meant to him to receive the award from Central Scholarship. “The scholarship was validation that someone believed in me. That made such a difference.” He went on to say, “Some people have to study three or four times harder than the average student. You can imagine how difficult it is for them to struggle with financial stress while trying to excel in school. When they’re awarded a scholarship, it sends the message that someone has faith in what they’re doing, and it motivates them not to give up.”
Dr. Olomo went on to receive his Ph.D. in Administration of Anesthesia. While studying at Johns Hopkins University, he made donations to Central Scholarship to pay it forward to future recipients. “It blew me away that the people from this organization took a chance on a stranger. You had no idea what I was capable of, and yet, you believed in me. I am forever grateful. This is my family, my community now.”
We couldn’t be prouder of Dr. Promise Olomo. We are honored to have him as a member of the Central Scholarship family. Stay tuned for updates from the next Bagels with Jerry in a few months!