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What did you do with your first paycheck after graduating?
Augustine Iyoyo sent his to the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction in gratitude for the support he received from his professors and others who helped him attain his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 2006.
A native of Nigeria, Iyoyo balanced cultural assimilation with his studies and work experience.
As a full-time student at UNF, Iyoyo served as president of the National Society of Black Engineers and represented the College of Engineering on the Student Advisory Council. He also worked on campus as a math tutor and off campus for 20-25 hours a week as an intern with Adtec Digital. Despite working two jobs, Iyoyo struggled to pay his tuition and other expenses as an international student.
“I went through rough times financially,” Iyoyo said. “It was difficult for my parents to send money. Growing up back in Nigeria, sometimes we only had one meal a day. I would sell drinks or food on the street to help my parents.”
When Iyoyo was struggling with his financial difficulties, UNF offered him an out-of-state waiver as well as a foundation scholarship through the Florida West Africa Linkage Institute, which was created in 1991 to promote academic, cultural and economic exchanges between Florida and the region of West Africa.
“That took a burden from me,” said Iyoyo. “If I had not received that scholarship, there was no way I could have finished my degree and no way I could have had this won- derful job. I would have had to give up UNF.”
Iyoyo works for Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Ind., as a controls engineer. A manufacturer of diesel engines and power generators, Cummins offered Iyoyo an internship in North Carolina the summer between his junior and senior years at UNF.
“At the end of the internship, they assessed my projects and felt they needed my skills. They gave me an offer before I began my senior year,” said Iyoyo. Reflecting on his recent $2,000 donation to UNF, Iyoyo said, “There may be one or two engineering students going through what I did who may have to give up their UNF education because they don’t have the resources to continue. I want to use the little I have to bless others. Hopefully, I can do it next year and in subsequent years.”
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