• Tom and Melinda Cook  + 3 – a true Appalachian family
  • Research opportunities and so much more
  • A support system for academic achievement
  • A scholarship opens a door to serving others
  • Inspired to succeed
  • A record of excellence
  • A Rich Learning Experience
  • The art of success
  • A real-world learning lab
  • Vargas’ year in France affirms self-reliance, inspires him to give back
View larger image
Michael Obacha - Class of 2016 - Economic and international business major - Kaduna State, Nigeria

In service to his native country of Nigeria

March 24, 2014

As one of the first members of his family to attend college, Appalachian State University sophomore Michael Obacha knows the importance of a quality education.

A native of Nigeria, Obacha moved halfway around the world after his freshman year of high school to further his education and play basketball. After a prolific high school career on the court, Obacha signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Mountaineers – but his education has always been at the forefront. A double major in economic and international business, Obacha carries a 3.32 grade-point average – all while balancing class, practice and the normal life of a college student.

“The opportunity to attend Appalachian State for my education has truly been a blessing,” said Obacha. “I have been able to broaden my horizons through the knowledge I have gained in the classroom and through my everyday experience as a college student. By getting a world-class education, I will be in a better position to make a difference in my home country once I graduate from Appalachian. I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given, it was always a dream of mine to come to the United States and get a college degree – Appalachian State has allowed me to do just that.”

Not only has Obacha shined in the classroom and on the basketball court, but he’s also making a difference in the lives of children in Nigeria. In January, he launched his own shoe drive to collect new and gently used athletic shoes to take to children in his home country. To date, more than 400 pairs of shoes have been collected. Learn more about the Michael Obacha Shoe Drive