92 scholars from the Equity Leadership Program (ELP) comprising of Wings to Fly alumni beneficiaries as well as those who topped the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in their respective sub counties have received admission to 43 global universities.
The 43 institutions are across five continents in different countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and South Africa.
This year’s admission is the largest single year cohort with a total number of scholars who have so far gained admission to global universities under the Equity Leaders Program at 633.
The global scholars will benefit from undergraduate scholarships valued at over $18 million (slightly over Sh2 billion) and receive a stipend of Sh16 million to facilitate their preparation and travel to their host countries.
Commenting on the admissions when releasing the Sh16 million for air tickets, Equity Group Foundation (EGF) Executive Chairman, Dr James Mwangi noted that despite the prevailing global pandemic, EGF through its Education and Leadership Development pillar has been able to coach and mentor bright, promising youth, to deliver the highest single year admissions and scholarship for airlift in search for higher education.
Of the 92, 19 scholars have been admitted to Ivy League Universities in the United States including Yale (2), Harvard (4), University of Pennsylvania (3), Princeton (3), Cornell (1), Dartmouth (2), Columbia (2) and Brown (2).
ELP provides a paid internship to top performing secondary school scholars including Wings to Fly alumni beneficiaries. The program aims to educate and provide mentorship and exposure to Kenyan youth, create a generation of value-based leaders, who bring about positive change in the community by driving sustainable economic growth and social progress in Kenya and globally.
Maxwell Ojiambo, a Wings to Fly alumnus and an ELP scholar who is set to join Stanford University to pursue Electrical Engineering said, “My experience in Wings to Fly and ELP has taught me that tough times don’t last forever. Equity took a chance on me and they turned me into a promising young man with big dreams and a great vision for the future. I am truly grateful for the experience.”
Another ELP scholar, Joanne Nekoye who is set to pursue Computer Science at Brown University said, “Iam excited to start a new chapter in my life. I joined ELP as a top KCSE performer and the experience has been unique. My application process to Brown was seamless and I also learnt a lot about leadership, responsibility and giving back through my internship at Equity. I hope to come back home to share my skills and newfound knowledge. I sincerely appreciate Equity and its partners for believing in me and other young people in our country.”
Since inception in 1998, ELP has supported 6,713 paid internships by Equity Bank at a cost of approximately Kshs.3 billion. Of these, 633 have been coached and mentored to secure admission and scholarship to enable their transition to to global universities while the majority study locally in leading universities.
33% of the ELP interns are continuing scholars, while 67% have graduated from various institutions and continued to become productive members in community building. The first ELP scholar, Samuel Kirubi, has since scaled up in his professional career to become the Managing Director of Equity Bank, Uganda.
ELP global scholars do return to Kenya during their summer holidays to team up with their colleagues in local universities and spend their time mentoring the incoming ELP scholars on how to apply for college admissions, as well as preparing them for life in universities locally or abroad.
The scholars are distributed globally in
Africa- Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa
Europe- Hungary, Germany, Turkey and United Kingdom (UK)
Middle East- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
North America- USA, Canada and Costa Rica