WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A Winter Haven man has beaten some difficult odds to make his American dream of becoming a medical doctor a reality.

  • Ojochide Shaibu recently graduated from Ross University School of Medicine
  • Left family in Nigeria to live with cousin in Winter Haven to pursue his dream career
  • Had help, support from a manager at Publix the whole way
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Ojochide Shaibu was born in San Francisco while his father was in America on a student visa. But when Shaibu was ten months old his family moved back to their home country of Nigeria.

Shaibu considered becoming a Catholic priest when he was a teenager, but then he had an uncle die of complications from a traumatic brain injury. That’s when he decided he wanted to become a doctor. 

His family scraped up enough money to fly him to Florida so he could live with a cousin in Winter Haven to pursue his dream. 

He had no money and applied for a bag boy job at a Winter Haven Publix. One of the managers, Bill Maynard, hired Shaibu. When Maynard heard Shaibu’s story he was impressed.

"I want to be a part of helping this guy to succeed,” he said he decided at the time. 

Shaibu worked hard to pass a GED test and then Maynard and Shaibu's cousin encouraged him to get into nursing so he could support himself while he pursued his dream. 

He became an CNA, then got an associate's degree in nursing and then became an RN. Maynard and his wife Janine helped Shaibu every step of the way. 

“Bill and Janine gave me such great advice, got me my first laptop and even prayed with me,” Shaibu said. “They were there through my highs and lows and every stop of my journey.”

Shaibu graduated with a medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine about a week ago. His family, as well as Bill and Janine Maynard, were there for the big moment. 

“I would like you all to know that Bill and Janine and like angels on earth,” he said. “They were always there. It’s people like Bill and Janine to make the earth a better place. I wish everyone was like them.”

Shaibu will soon start his Medical College of Georgia neurology residency. He hopes to become a endovascular neurosurgeon in honor of his uncle.