Society / Education
Thursday, 29 Dec 2016 16:08 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Equity Bank will sponsor 33 students in the Equity Leaders Program (ELP) 2016 class. This number is expected to more than double when the regular admissions are released in March 2017. This brings the total number of ELP scholars studying or alumni in global universities to 362. Of the 33 admissions, 18 are alumni of the Wings to Fly program bringing the total number of Wings to Fly scholars who have transited to global universities to 32.
“We are very proud of our ELP scholars who are increasingly demonstrating capability to compete for the most competitive positions in some of the top universities globally. In Early Decision application, scholars submit an application to only one university. This year, 98 ELP scholars attempted the early decision application translating to 34 percent admission rate as compared to last years’ 20 percent. This shows how our Kenyan children are academically competitive on the global scale,” said Dr Mwangi, the Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation that implements ELP on behalf of the bank.
Dr Mwangi further added: “While it was expected that best performing students would ordinarily come from national schools, we are seeing a trend where scholars joining ELP are distributed across national, county and district schools. This performance should serve to encourage students from all secondary schools in Kenya that no matter which school they attend, they can achieve their dreams if they focus, are determined and aim high.”
ELP admits the top performing boy and girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.) exams from each district in Kenya. Wings to Fly scholars who also score an A in K.C.S.E. also qualify to join the ELP. 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 4,490 scholars who are studying both locally and abroad or alumni. Of these, 2,057 are Wings to Fly scholars who have successfully transited to the university. “The objective is to develop a generation of servant leaders who will think globally; are inspired to fight poverty in the African continent; embrace sustainable development; improve living standards and coexist peacefully as a people while being fully committed to giving back to society,” Dr Mwangi added.
Universities that have offered scholarships to the top performing students this year are spread across the USA, South Africa, Germany and Mauritius. They include Amherst College, Brown University, Cornell University, Duke University, Princeton University, University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, among others.
ELP scholars have distinguished themselves as mentors and role models to secondary school students when they inspire and encourage students to aim at academic excellence. They also take leadership positions in their universities as well in local communities where they participate in decision making. The ELP scholars 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 the university and abroad in global universities.
Jack is a business and society writer at the Kenya Free Press