Senior students of The John Carroll School in Bel Air surprised their Nigerian classmate by sponsoring his mother’s visit for his graduation.
Mike Tertsea, a Nigerian from Benue State, left Nigeria four years ago to study at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, and has not seen his mother since then.
Mike, a basketball player at John Carroll who plans to attend the University of Rhode Island, was surprised to learn that the whole senior class, and faculty members, had made contribution to make it possible for his mother to make the trip from Benue State, Nigeria, to see him graduate from high school.
Toward the end of the school’s annual ceremony and Mass, the principal, Madelyn Ball, had told friends and relatives gathered in the gym that one student had asked, “Is Mike’s mom coming to graduation?” “Everyone was concerned because, you see, Mike has not been home for four years,” Ball said.
She then explained how the senior class was able to raise $1,763 for his mother’s trip. When “there were some issues once the flight was booked,” because the class was about $500 short, class co-advisor Carrie Siemsen raised the remaining
Mike and his mother got a standing ovation as they were asked to come up on the stage, where they each thanked the senior class for bringing them together.
The overjoyed 56-year-old mother said when she saw her son, she screamed and shouted. “I was so excited seeing him after four years,” noting they had only spoken by phone over the years.”I just believe God will take care of him, and the people here are nice,” she added
Besides playing basketball at college, the 6-foot, 10-inch tall senior said he is considering pursuing economics or business management.