Nigerian student, Asumana Marafa, recently graduated (ceremony postponed until 8/8/2020) from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Asumana is the second Nigerian student to attend and graduate from this Iowa United Methodist Church-related college.
Marafa was born in Bambur, Taraba State, Nigeria, and the youngest of four siblings. After losing her mother and father, she lived with her cousin while growing up. During her 2012-2013 high school year, she was an exchange student of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and was hosted by a family in Branson, Missouri. That program was through Iowa Resource for International Students (IRIS). Following high school graduation in Nigeria, she was accepted at Morningside College.
This Nigeria Student to Iowa academic opportunity was started by Bishop Trimble who worked with the four Iowa UMC College presidents to set up the program. Major funding was offered by Morningside and Simpson College. The goal is to equip exceptional persons for leadership in the next generation of the Nigerian United Methodist Church. Funds have been raised by private donations, special offerings and the former Iowa Nigeria Partnership.
Asumana arrived in Iowa on a cold wintry day in January 2017 to attend Morningside where she earned a nursing degree. She is waiting to write the NCLEX exam sometime in June. Her Optional Practical Training (OPT) was approved and she will begin working in June at MercyOne in Sioux City on a Medical Nephrology Unit where she had done her preceptorship. She is now taking driving lessons and hopes to get an Iowa Driver's license.
Congratulations, Asumana Marafa! We are proud of you and your college achievement. We offer our best wishes for your future.
Current and former Nigerian students include Maryam Yakubu (3rd year at Simpson College studying criminal justice), Ishaya David (Simpson College graduate and pharmacy student at The University of Iowa) and Paul Johnson (graduate of Morningside Colllege).