EQUITY BANK GLOBAL SCHOLARS HITS A TOTAL OF 519 WHO HAVE ACCESSED SCHOLARSHIPS WORTH KSHS 12 BILLION
56 scholars joined the program in 2019 bringing the total number studying or are alumni of global universities to 519
Nairobi, 4th September 2019….. Fifty six Equity Leaders Program (ELP) scholars have been admitted to various top tier universities this year. The 2019 class brings the total number of ELP scholars studying or are alumni of top global universities to 519, sponsored at a cumulative value USD 120M (Ksh12 Billion).
Of this year’s 56 admissions, 17 are alumni of the Wings to Fly program who scored Grade A, while the rest were the top students in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in their respective sub counties who are annually enrolled into the Equity Leadership Program.
The 2019 cohort will be joining universities in the United States, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Rwanda, Hungary, Canada and Slovakia. They are joining diverse top tier universities including Harvard (3), Cornell (1), Princeton (2), University of Pennsylvania (2), Massachusetts Institute of Technology -MIT (2), Amherst (1), and John Hopkins (1).
Speaking during the send-off ceremony in Nairobi, Equity Group CEO and Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation, Dr. James Mwangi, advised the scholars to focus on academics, leadership training, networking and global transformational exposure and excel in their respective specialties.
“In the course of this journey, you will encounter challenges like language barriers and cultural differences. I encourage you to overcome these difficulties and embrace the new environment with courage and open-mindedness. Your host community, Equity Group, the local community as well as your parents are supporting you and expecting a lot from you. I am confident that you will make all of us proud,” said Dr. Mwangi.
“The objective is to develop you, as a generation of servant leaders who will think globally; are inspired to fight poverty and the challenges on our continent; embrace sustainable development; improve our living standards and give back to society,” added Dr. Mwangi.
Some of the scholars expressed their gratitude for what the program has been able to do for them. Apart from admission into prestigious universities, the students each received a stipend of between Kshs 100,000 – 200,000 to cater for air tickets and shopping.
Christine Njeri, who is headed to MIT said, “I was a kid who had been raised in a slum where literally no one recognized who I was. When the Wings to Fly Program sponsored me, I was challenged to work hard and I did well in high school. I joined the Equity Leaders Program thereafter and the resilience, mentorship and leadership journey I was taken through by the program has prepared me for where I’m headed. This is all because someone took a chance on me and I am grateful to Equity and its partners in the ELP program.”
Another scholar, Samuel Gari, headed to Princeton University said, “My dream to create sustainable energy and waste management in Kenya is still alive thanks to this program that has really guided and encouraged me. I’m happy to be joining Princeton this fall, where I’m certain I will get the skills to fulfill my dream thanks to the mentorship I derived from the ELP program.”
Started in 1998, ELP admits the top performing boy and girl in the KCSE exams from each sub county in Kenya and Wings to Fly scholars who score “A” in the national exams. The program aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Kenya and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills.
To date, ELP has benefited 14,529 scholars who are currently studying both locally and abroad or are alumni of various universities. ELP scholars have distinguished themselves as mentors and role models to secondary school students during their semester breaks to inspire and encourage students to aim at academic excellence. They also take leadership positions in their universities and in their communities where they participate in decision making.
ELP global scholars usually return to Kenya from their universities abroad 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.
EQUITY LEADERS PROGRAM 2019 – LIST
About the Equity Leaders Program
The Equity Leaders Programme was founded in 1998 and has scaled up over time to benefit 14,524 scholars. The Equity Leaders Program admits the top performing boy and girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.) exams from each sub-county in Kenya where Equity Bank has a branch as well as Wings to Fly graduates who score a minimum grade of A-. The program aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Kenya and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills.
The internship runs for the 6-10 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university. 5,968 scholars have benefitted from internships at Equity Bank prior to joining local or global universities. Of these, 514 scholars have secured admissions and scholarships in top global universities.
The leadership development model seeks to develop scholars in four program areas:
- Personal and Professional Development to enable scholars to identify their unique talents and strengths and to match their individual interests with meaningful career opportunities.
- Global exposure to encourage scholars to expand their horizons and become world class-leaders who can compete and succeed in a global marketplace.
- Creativity and Innovation to empower scholars to think creatively about providing solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing communities around the world.
- Community Engagement to inspire scholars to use their abilities for good and to make a positive impact on society.
While developing individual scholars in these thematic areas, the program also endeavors to create a strong network of scholars working together across disciplines and sectors to transform their communities, their country, and the world at large. This leadership development model is delivered through the following initiatives:
- The Internship Program which allows scholars at local universities to return for internships with Equity Group and its partners during university holidays to get professional experience while saving for their university education. The program runs for the 6-10 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university.
- The Global Summer Internship Program which allows scholars studying at international universities to return to Africa for their summer holidays and intern with Equity Group and its partners, giving them work experience and building their professional networks on the continent.
- The College Counseling Program which supports Equity scholars to access admission and scholarships to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Ivy League universities in the US.
- The Annual Leadership Congress which allows scholars to connect with each other to form a strong community, learn about leadership and employability skills, and interact with successful leaders from various industries
- The Innovators Program which trains and develops scholars in innovation and entrepreneurship skills, allowing them to write business plans and pitch their ideas for seed funding.
- The Centers of Excellence Program where scholars provide residential mentorship to various secondary schools
- The University Chapters at campuses in Kenya and abroad that serve as platforms for interaction, networking, and activities for the scholars during their university session.
- The Wings to Fly Mentorship Program which enables scholars to visit Wings to Fly high school scholarship recipients at their respective high schools to provide mentorship and academic coaching.