Blessing reached to Princeton

On July 6, 2017, Blessing stepped off the plane at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City, excited and nervous for the challenges she faced ahead. Despite the exhausting twenty-four-hour journey from Lesotho, Blessing’s enthusiasm was as clear as day. She was anxious to arrive at the place she would call home for the next four years. A bus, two trains, and several hours later, she had finally reached her destination. Her eyes widened as she stared in awe at the enormous historical architecture of Princeton University’s impressive campus. It was love at first sight.

Blessing was born to Nigerian parents in Lesotho — a small landlocked country in the middle of South Africa. Growing up in the little village of Roma, Blessing knew she wanted to study robotics and one day become an engineer, something her two elder brothers had heavily influenced. Blessing was always a hardworking and diligent student. Despite the financial challenges her mother faced in sending four children to school, Blessing achieved high results and earned the top spot in her class.

Blessing’s hard work continued to pay off when she was accepted as an Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholar in 2016. Her strong determination carried her through the intense months of academic preparation that followed, leading up to her university applications. Little did she know she would soon be offered the chance to study her passion of robotics and mechanical engineering by Princeton University — one of the top universities in the world — on a full scholarship!

With a huge smile on her face, Blessing arrived at Butler Residential College on Princeton’s campus for the start of the Freshman Scholars Institute, a summer program that invites a small group of incoming students to experience life at Princeton before the fall semester. Blessing was overwhelmed with joy as dozens of student volunteers were waiting to welcome her to Princeton. Blessing is most excited about the challenges that lay ahead, and is eager to learn, grow, and meet new people. Given the amazing campus and supportive community that Princeton offers, she already feels right at home.

Blessing is looking forward to her time at Princeton and taking steps towards making her long-term goals a reality. She plans to eventually apply her training in robotics and mechanical engineering to the medical field in Africa by developing affordable, high-tech equipment for hospitals in order to help alleviate the crisis in the health sector across the continent. She also hopes to inspire other young people to pursue their goals, despite the challenges that life may bring.