Olusegun "Sheg" Aranmolate
At age 18, Sheg Aranmolate came to the United States from Nigeria by himself, with nothing but a duffle bag. The 24-year-old has since earned his bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and a master's degree in applied molecular biology. "The American life has been very good to me," Sheg says.
Watch Sheg's video bio
Sheg currently works in research at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and plans to attend medical school. "In the African countries, the people who can actually make a difference are the people in the sciences, especially researchers and doctors," he says. In 2006, Sheg and his father founded their Nigerian-based foundation, The Aranmolate Foundation for Deformed Children. While Sheg talks to doctors and medical students at Vanderbilt to raise awareness about the mission of the foundation, his father has performed more than 100 pro bono surgeries in Nigeria. "The main focus is to empower local surgeons to want to give back," Sheg says. In addition, he says the foundation hopes to expand into other countries around the world.
Sheg and his wife have a two-year-old daughter, Nilaja, which means "joyful one."
"I wanted to show the new generation—the MySpace and YouTube people—that it's hip to empower people," Sheg says. "We are getting to the point that people have become so secluded. We've become so distracted, but it's our duty as human beings to make a difference."
Sheg's Favorite… Giving Back Moment:
When I was in Kindergarten, I would go into the cafeteria and get all of the drinks for my classmates. It's my first memory of giving back. They were so excited when they saw me coming in with the basket! Food:
: Steamed vegetables and steak Movie: A Beautiful Mind Type of Music/Artist:
Frank Sinatra Dessert:
Cheesecake Time of Day:
Night. I get to reflect on my day. Indulgence:
A massage Vacation:
Hanging out with my sisters in London Memory:
The birth of my daughter Snack:
Beef jerky Weekend Activity:
I just finished writing a book. I write mostly on the weekends. My book is about very simple reasons to be inspired and make a difference.