8 years ago, Annie Ibok presented her son Emem with a half-dollar on move-in day at Howard University. She presented that half-dollar with with the agreement that her son would return it to her only after he had obtained his engineering degree. On graduation day Emem presented that half-dollar back to his mother and went on to serve his community, being a founding member of TRUST: A Society For Men and serving as Vice President of the newly chartered Howard University Alumni Club of Greater Seattle . It is through that involvement in which his passions are manifested into action. She unfortunately did not get to enjoy the fruits of her labor, passing away shortly after he graduated. Emem created The Annie Ibok Scholarship in her honor to provide financial aid to underserved students in their undergraduate studies.
Mrs. Aniekan (Annie) Ibok was born Aniekan Solomon Aqua to Dr. and Mrs. Solomon David Aqua of Ikot Ossom village in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. As the eldest of seven children, she had always acted as a mother to siblings particularly after the parents left for the United States. In the mid 70's, her parents brought her and her brothers and sisters to the United States to join them. They grew up in St. Louis, MO.
At a very early age, it was apparent that she would enter into the medical field. She worked very hard in her studies earning a BS degree in Nursing from Texas Woman's University in Dallas, Texas (working about 30 years in the field). She loved Nursing! She often regretted that her father did not live long enough to see her, a Registered Nurse and her brother, an MD at Kaiser Hospital in their white coats. This was her father's dream. A woman of profound but simple faith, she constantly lifted her family up in prayers. She poured her life into service and dedication to her family. She also poured herself into giving back to the community, particularly to her native country through the women's group Mboho Ima Iban Akwa Ibom. The women adopted the project of renovating the Maternity Wing of the local hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Anua. At the conclusion of which, the hospital named the Maternity Ward after her "Mma Aniekan Ibok Maternity Ward".
Mrs. Aniekan Ibok lost her battle to cancer at the age of 57, but her legacy lives on through her family and this scholarship.
Emem Ibok is a first generation Nigerian-American and Bay Area native who began his journey attending public schools in the Santa Clara. After his offers came in, he ultimately decided to attend Howard University on a scholarship. He was the first in his immediate family to attend an HBCU. Creating an academic pipeline, he was later joined by his cousin and brother, both Howard Alumni: School of Law graduates. While at Howard, he and his society brothers founded TRUST: A Society for Men, an organization focused on purposeful matriculation and professional grooming of men in the STEM fields. In 2013, he graduated cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, joining the workforce as a Propulsion Engineer at an aerospace company in Puget Sound area. In his spare time, he reads, and serves on the Executive Board of the Howard Alumni Club of Greater Seattle He hopes that his efforts will create a community that provides opportunities of upward mobility for all.