Meet Emmanuela Ilok: Nigerian Teen Accepted to 11 Leading U.S. Universities

Emmanuela Ilok is one of the 2022 Rise Global Winners, with a program called ‘CodEd’ that offered teacher training programs, a student-centered curriculum, as well as internship opportunities for students.

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Meet Emmanuela Ilok: Nigerian Teen Accepted to 11 Leading U.S. Universities

Emmanuela Ilok is a Nigerian teenager who has received acceptance offers from 11 top U.S. universities including MIT, Stanford, Yale, UPenn, Princeton, Columbia, Georgia Tech, Washington University, University of Chicago, Duke, and Granger College of Engineering.

Ilok won the prestigious RISE program in 2022, when she was 16 which includes scholarships for university education. For her RISE project, she developed a program called ‘CodEd’ which provided teacher training, student curriculum, and internship opportunities to improve computer science education in public schools compared to private schools.

The Rise program, founded in 2019, is a flagship initiative of a $1 billion commitment by Eric and Wendy Schmidt towards nurturing talent and fostering development across various initiatives. The program identifies talented individuals aged 15 to 17 and empowers them to address community issues using their passion and creativity.

Ilok is interested in software engineering, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. As a student at Greensprings School Lagos, she was one of the top participants in the YTBC business competition for developing an app to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

She credits her success to value-based education at her school which nurtured effective communication skills, ethical values, and a service-minded attitude through community engagement projects.

Drawing inspiration from Benjamin Franklin’s timeless wisdom – “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Emmanuela emphasized the pivotal role of education in addressing societal challenges. Her project aligns with Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, “Inclusive Education for All,” Ilok believed in equal opportunities for students in both public and private schools to access quality Computer Science education.

Emmanuela is clearly an exceptional student with interests in technology and using education to create positive social impact.

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