HERS was a success story enveloped in hard work and the grace of God despite facing the type of challenge that had halted many brilliant students from achieving greatness in life. Many of her mates would have taken to other trades and end up being a minus to womanhood. Ironically, she lived her name Success Oluremi Odebode, and stood tall as the graduating student with the best overall performance with a CGPA of 4.97 in Geology at the fifth convocation of the nine year old Achievers University, Owo in Ondo State.
Thirty four students of the university had first class honours, 253 second class upper division while 135 were in the second class lower division and seven in third class division. Success, 22 years old spoke with Vanguard on the challenges she went through and how she fought through to emerge as the best graduating student of the 2015/2016 set.
She wrote JAMB twice before she got admitted into the university. Asked how she wriggled through not only in a male dominated department but the set to emerge the best graduating student, Success said: “I made it through hard work and the special grace of God. Growing up was not that okay family wise, but I never allowed that to put my back on the ground, so I had to pursue whatever I had to do diligently because all I dreamt about was to leave a mark in whatever I did.
“So by the help of God I was able to achieve this through study. I was never involved in any form of partying or socials and I made sure I maximized my time to the fullest and I am telling you today that it yielded positive result.”
Pressed to explain those things that she didn’t allow to affect education, she said, “maritally, my parents were separated for sometime and it was supposed to affect my studies but I just put it behind me and concentrated on my studies. Most time, psychologically, I would be concerned about what happened between my parents but thank God that He provided help for me through my uncle, so I was never left behind because he supported my education.”
She said her joy was that both her mum and uncle witnessed her day of celebration. On her educational background she said “I attended Holy Infant School, Lagos State for my elementary school, then for secondary school I went to Omotayo College, Ogijo along Sagamu road, then Achievers University.
“Funny enough I never picked Achievers university from onset, I picked Obafemi Awolowo University but because I couldn’t make the cut off marks with just a point in Pharmacy I was not given admission. The geology course was given to me by Achievers University, I never knew anything about geology. On that fateful Sunday after service, when I received a message from the university that I have been admitted to Achievers University, I thought it was a scam because there was nothing that cannot happen in Nigeria anymore, so I had to call the number that was used to send the message.
“The man who spoke to me, his name his Mr. Ogunleye and confirmed that it was actually true. I inquired how they got to know my contact and explained it was through OAU. So that was how I came here to verify and lo and behold I was given my admission letter to study geology in this school.
“Things I denied myself to achieve this feat included sleep, pleasure though I really don’t go out, even most of the school social activities I don’t usually involve myself in them but when it comes to study, doing my assignments, tests and every other academic activities like debate, I made sure I put my best in it.
“I had no boyfriend but now I have a fiance. I love geology as a course because it’s a very practical and applicable science and if you look around the world, the world itself it’s geology. Studying geology is just like having close access to God and studying what God has made as well. My advice to those coming behind is that they should just put in their best because opportunity comes but once and whenever you have the opportunity, just maximise it.”
Meanwhile, the Vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Samuel Ibiyemi has said that the number of academic programmes approved for the institution by the NUC has increased from 12 to 22 when he assumed office three years ago.