Anu Asaolu ’19: A Student’s Journey from Nigeria to Bowdoin

Anuoluwapo “Anu” Asaolu ’19

In local writer David Treadwell’s essay about Anu Asaolu, he writes: “Some people give you hope for humanity, a cause to celebrate, a reason to smile. Meet Bowdoin College junior Anu Asaolu.”

Asaolu was born in Lagos, Nigeria. When she turned 13, she moved with her two older siblings to St. Paul, Minn., to join her father. When he died shortly after they arrived, her mother came to the U.S. to care for her children.

Throughout these years of change, Anu was an exemplary student, and she won a full scholarship — the Gates Millennium Scholarship — for students of color in targeted fields, such as computer science, math, public health, and the sciences. It funds tuition for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Anu is now majoring in neuroscience, and has also tried some new activities at Bowdoin: rugby, theater, and student journalism. This past summer, Anu was granted a funded internship by Bowdoin to work at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, which caters to the city’s medically underserved. She plans to take a year off when she graduates in 2019 before going to medical school to become a neurosurgeon.

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