Teryima Manta from Nigeria, came on scholarship as an exchange student at MCHS in 2012. That's the year the Golden Eagles won the state championship. As kicker, he was an integral part of each game, but also his winning smile and positive attitude brought an extra dose of faith to the home team. Manta (now 21) believes he still has the magic and hopes to find a college who will give him a chance to kick.

Teryima Manta from Nigeria, came on scholarship as an exchange student at MCHS in 2012. That's the year the Golden Eagles won the state championship. As kicker, he was an integral part of each game, but also his winning smile and positive attitude brought an extra dose of faith to the home team.

Coming to the USA on a YES scholarship for future leaders, Manta was an excellent student with straight As on his report card and dreams of college, like most teenagers. While here, he went to church regularly at Grace Evangelical Free Church and attended youth group at First Baptist Church. In spring of 2013, he spoke at the Exchange Club at the request of Dr. Glenda Foy. There, he was asked if he would be able to go to college at home in Nigeria and he respectfully responded "no, not likely, since my parents are both deceased and my uncle has children to take care of."

He has now finished high school in Nigeria but not college. He has proved himself a leader since his return to Nigeria. He has been involved in numerous alumni activities to improve his community and his country. While in Aledo, he regularly volunteered (a requirement for YES students) at our food pantry in Mercer County, under the direction of his host mom, Sharon Lingafelter. This gives him the confidence that he can establish the first food pantry in his region. This bright boy has already helped many in Africa by giving food to those in need.

This spring he has earned a chance to attend a US State Department Interfaith conference in Washington DC. He has written plan entitled RAINBOW which will promote interfaith dialog among students in his country. He thinks the plan will teach attendees to appreciate the real essence of their faith. There are benefits of tolerating differences in doctrinal beliefs. The seminar will involve YES Alumni, secondary school graduates, educators and speakers from different Christian denominations in his region. 

While back in the states, he would like to return to Aledo for a visit. His host mother, Sharon Lingafelter, and his Exchange Coordinator, Deb Bowen, will be raising money for his airline tickets to the Midwest and travel expenses for college visits. We hope to raise $500 for the airline tickets and $200 for those other expenses. The first fundraiser will be a bake sale outside of Walmart on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone wishing to donate cash for the cause or provide homemade treats to sell, contact Sharon Lingafelter at 582-7449.

Also, Sherrard HS host mom Dora Sigala will be selling home made tamales in May to help with Manta's expenses. If interested, call or text her at 309-269-7184.

Manta (now 21) believes he still has the magic and hopes to find a college who will give him a chance to kick. Anyone who follows our football, knows he never missed. This is Manta's last chance at a college education and he is asking for the prayers of the people of Mercer County.