Dear Mandela Washington Fellowship Host University partners,
It is with a very heavy heart that I write to you to let you know that earlier today, a Mandela Washington Fellow, Jean Paul Usman from Nigeria, has passed away after a tragic accident during a hike. Jean Paul was studying civic leadership at Virginia Tech.
Jean Paul was a shining star who will be missed. I know that your fellows will begin to hear the news and we wanted you to have some basic information at hand so that you can assist them to process this. As there are 100 Nigerians in the program, it is very likely that many knew him or were friends with him. For all of us, this is simply horrifying news and we are so very, very sorry.
The U.S. embassy has notified the family. We, at both IREX and ECA, are available to assist you should you have any questions or concerns.
I know this is extremely difficult for all of us.
Branch Chief, Mandela Washington Fellowship
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State