May 16, 2017—In honor of the memory of John Paul Usman, the U.S. Embassy donated books worth $2,000 to the University of Ilorin in Kwara State. This is in addition to the $20,000 award announced on the Young Africa Leaders Initiative Network earlier.
U.S. Embassy Country Public Affairs Officer Aruna Amirthanayagam while presenting the books to the University community expressed heartfelt condolences to John Paul’s family and the University community. He said, “Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss. It is our hope that you will find solace in the continuation of his work.
I also commiserate with the university and nation at large on the loss of such a promising young man. Please accept this token donation in honor of John Paul.”
John Paul Usman was a 2016 Mandela Washington fellow and final year student of Information and Communication Science at University of Ilorin. Tragically, he died during his fellowship at Virginia Tech University while on a site visit to Cascade Falls on June 25, 2016; he slipped as he was taking a picture by the waterfall and was drowned by the undertow.
The John Paul Usman award will be issued as small grants for young Nigerians working in areas John Paul Usman supported – peace building, children’s rights issues, and sustainable development goals. The Embassy will work with the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association to review applications and announce winners of the John Paul Usman award soon.