Ninety two scholars from the Equity Leadership Programme (ELP) comprising Wings to Fly beneficiaries as well as those who topped the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination in their respective sub counties have received admission to forty three global universities. The forty-three 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. The total number of scholars who have so far gained admission to global universities under the Equity Leaders Programme is six hundred and thirty three. This year’s number is the highest.
The global scholars will benefit from undergraduate scholarships valued at over USD 18 million (slightly over Kshs 2 billion). They will also receive a stipend of Kshs.16million to facilitate their preparation and travel to their host countries. Commenting on the admissions when releasing the Kshs.16 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 many bright and promising youth.“We are proud of our ELP scholars for the hard work that they have put into this. Their dedication, consistency and perseverance has seen them gain admission into some of the best institutions of higher learning in the world including the Ivy League Universities.”
ELP provides a paid internship to top performing secondary school scholars including Wings to Fly alumni beneficiaries. The programme aims at educating and providing mentorship as well as exposure to Kenyan youth, creating a generation of value-based leaders, who bring about positive change in the community.
Maxwell Ojiambo, Wings to Fly alumnus and 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. Equity took a chance on me and they turned me into a promising young man with big dreams and a great vision. I am truly grateful for the experience.”Another ELP scholar, Joanne Nekoye who is set to pursue computer science at Brown University said: “I am 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 to the community through my internship at Equity. I hope to come back home to share my skills and new found knowledge. I sincerely appreciate Equity and its partners for believing in me and other young people in our country.”
Since inception in1998, ELP has supported six thousand seven thousand and thirteen paid internships by Equity Bank at a cost of approximately Kshs.3 billion. Of these, six hundred and thirty three have been coached and mentored to secure admission and scholarship to enable their transition to global universities while the majority study locally in leading universities. Thirty three per cent of the ELP interns are continuing scholars, while sixty seven per cent 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 return to Kenya during their summer holidays to team up with their colleagues in local universities whom they spend time mentoring on how to apply for college admissions. They also prepare them for life in universities locally or abroad.