Academic Airlifts

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off 65 Equity Leaders Program scholarship recipients proceeding for further studies in Global universities

Bringing the total number of ELP scholars in global universities to 265

Nairobi 14th August 2015… A new crop of 65, Equity Leaders Program (ELP) Scholarship recipients were this afternoon flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta, as they embark on their academic tour of duty in global universities

Epitomizing a latter day academic airlift akin to the 1960’s Tom Mboya initiative, the students are now set to join a variety of Ivy League and related top league Universities in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK, Costa Rica and Ghana under a scholarship programme valued at more than  US$12,178,124.

The 65 scholars, proceeding for further studies abroad, are part of the 405, scholars earlier selected to join the ELP, having excelled in their KCSE last year.

With the flag off today, the complement of ELP students studying at Global universities has now edged up to 265 with a total of 2,673 scholars now listed under the initiative which was first commissioned in 1998 by the then Equity Building Society.

Additionally, eight medical students from various Kenyan universities under the ELP have been selected to pursue their Clinical Electives abroad.

The students, who were flagged off at State House Nairobi, are academic merit recipients of the Equity Leaders Program (ELP), an internship program by Equity Bank and implemented through the Equity Group Foundation. Anchored as an advanced leadership development program, The program selects the top Wings to Fly Scholars who attain grade ‘A’ and the top boy and top girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination from the Counties and develops them into world-class leaders to transform society. This year, 12 out of the 65 scholars proceeding for further studies are alumni of the Wings to Fly Program.

Speaking at the flag off ceremony, Equity Group Foundation, Executive Chairman, Dr James Mwangi, described the ELP as a homegrown leadership development success story.

“Barely 15 years into the launch of the ELP and with 2,673 beneficiaries, more than 1,029 are now pursuing their post-graduate studies or gainfully employed in leadership positions across the world. More than 1,644 ELP scholars are still pursuing their undergraduate degrees and will soon be graduating in various disciplines in local and international universities,” Dr Mwangi said.

This year, 65 ELP scholars are set to join global universities;

·         46 scholars  in USA and Canada

·         14 scholars in South Africa

·         3 scholars in Ghana

·         1 scholar in the UK

·         1 scholar traveling to Costa Rica ( to study Agriculture in the prestigious Earth University)

Out of these scholars:

·         58 Scholars will be pursuing their undergraduate studies

·         6 Scholars will be pursuing their postgraduate studies

·         1 scholar will be pursuing his A-Levels at the African Leadership Academy

The 65 scholars admitted to foreign universities in 2015 are:

No.

Name

University

High School

Level

Destination

1

Elijah Koome*

Amherst College

Meru School

Undergraduate

USA

2

Abdinur Hussein

Arizona State University

Wajir Boys

Undergraduate

USA

3

Anderson Gitonga

Arizona State University

Kangaru Boys

Undergraduate

USA

4

David Okinyi*

Arizona State University

Kanyawanga High

Undergraduate

USA

5

Diana Achieng

Arizona State University

WISER Girls

Undergraduate

USA

6

Peter Obila

Arizona State University

Mirera High

Undergraduate

USA

7

Selina Alulu*

Arizona State University

Buruburu Girls

Undergraduate

USA

8

Dennis Sifuna*

Ashesi University

Lenana School

Undergraduate

Ghana

9

Felix Omondi Oyoo*

Ashesi University

Orero Secondary

Undergraduate

Ghana

10

Wayne Gakuo*

Ashesi University

Aga Khan High – Mombasa

Undergraduate

Ghana

11

Veronica Mulila

Barnard College

Mt. Laverna Girls

Undergraduate

USA

12

Maryanne Wangui Kihiu

Bryn Mawr College

South Tetu Girls

Undergraduate

USA

13

Abdihakim Yunis

Cornell University

Starehe Boys

Undergraduate

USA

14

Job Orenge Nyangenya

Dartmouth College

Utumishi Academy

Undergraduate

USA

15

Wendy Kang'ethe

Dartmouth College

Riara Springs Academy

Undergraduate

USA

16

Fridah Rotich

Davidson College

Segero Adventist High

Undergraduate

USA

17

Christine Kendi*

Duke University

Loreto Limuru

Undergraduate

USA

18

Jacqueline Maina*

EARTH University

Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls

Undergraduate

Costa Rica

19

Daniel Getega

Harvard University

Maseno School

Undergraduate

USA

20

Lynn Akinyi

Harverford College

St. Albert’s – Ulanda

Undergraduate

USA

21

Walter Mukira

Johns Hopkins University

Pioneer School

Undergraduate

USA

22

Samuel Indeche

Lafayette College

Mang’u High

Undergraduate

USA

23

Bior Leek Ajak

McGill University

Chebisaas High

Undergraduate

Canada

24

Winnie Nyakundi

McGill University

Marymount High

Undergraduate

Canada

25

Hafsa Shariff

Michigan State University

Nairobi Muslim

Undergraduate

USA

26

June Hellen Odera

Northwestern University

Newlight Senior Girls

Undergraduate

USA

27

Timothy Mwiti

Northwestern University

Burieruri Boys

Undergraduate

USA

28

Tom Wanderi Kingori

Princeton University

Alliance High

Undergraduate

USA

29

Karen Komu

Smith College

Alliance Girls

Undergraduate

USA

30

Norah Borus

Stanford University

Precious Blood – Riruta

Undergraduate

USA

31

Robert Kinini

Stanford University

Nyeri High

Undergraduate

USA

32

Alvin Orori

Tufts University

Lenana School

Undergraduate

USA

33

Agnes Ouko

University of British Columbia

Maria Soti Centre

Undergraduate

Canada

34

Protus Langat

University of British Columbia

Kericho High

Undergraduate

Canada

35

John Akol

University of California - Berkeley

Kinyago Dandora High

Undergraduate

USA

36

Mary Kilonzo

University of Chicago

Booker Academy

Undergraduate

USA

37

Halima Said Hussein

University of Pennsylvania

Sheikh Khalifa – Mombasa

Undergraduate

USA

38

Geoffrey Otwan Okochil*

University of Pretoria

Nakuru High

Undergraduate

South Africa

39

Godfrey Eric Muendo

University of Pretoria

Nguviu Boys

Undergraduate

South Africa

40

Jackson Ltorisha

University of Pretoria

Good Shepherd Seminary

Undergraduate

South Africa

41

John Kagwanja Wanjiku

University of Pretoria

Kihoya Secondary

Undergraduate

South Africa

42

Kyalo Wycliffe

University of Pretoria

Igembe Boys

Undergraduate

South Africa

43

Nicholas Maina

University of Pretoria

Nyandarua High

Undergraduate

South Africa

44

Ruth Kasavo Nzisi

University of Pretoria

Kimangao Girls

Undergraduate

South Africa

45

Samuel Njuguna Irumbi

University of Pretoria

Murang’a High

Undergraduate

South Africa

46

Michael Kitimet

University of Richmond

Kimana Secondary

Undergraduate

USA

47

George Muiruri

University of Rochester

Lukenya School

Undergraduate

USA

48

Michelle Nyamai

University of Sheffield

Mt. Kenya Academy

Undergraduate

UK

49

Anthony Muchina*

University of Toronto

Maseno School

Undergraduate

Canada

50

Dickens Nyakongo

University of Toronto

Kanga High

Undergraduate

Canada

51

Frank Mkala*

University of Toronto

Kenyatta Mwatate

Undergraduate

Canada

52

Josephine Nyambura

University of Toronto

Nguviu Girls

Undergraduate

Canada

53

Lawrence Nyerere

University of Toronto

Maseno School

Undergraduate

Canada

54

Noah Melvin Kones

University of Toronto

Lodwar Boys

Undergraduate

Canada

55

Brian Osoro

Vanderbilt University

Nairobi School

Undergraduate

USA

56

Vivian Wanjohi

Vanderbilt University

Busara Forst View Academy

Undergraduate

USA

57

Wanjiru Gachuhi

Vassar College

Nyahururu Elite

Undergraduate

USA

58

Maryanne Naliaka

Williams College

Maryhill Girls

Undergraduate

USA

59

Josphat Luokot Lowoi*

African Leadership Academy

Lenana School

A-Levels

South Africa

60

Frederick Opado

Baylor University

 

Postgraduate

USA

61

Carolyne Mbatia

University of Cape Town

 

Postgraduate

South Africa

62

Jeremiah Nzioka

University of Cape Town

 

Postgraduate

South Africa

63

Stanley Mutinda

University of Cape Town

 

Postgraduate

South Africa

64

Terry Kipkorir

University of Cape Town

 

Postgraduate

South Africa

65

Fhazhil Wamalwa

University of Pretoria

 

Postgraduate

South Africa

 *Denotes Wings to Fly scholar

Founded in 1998, the program has now benefitted 2,673 young people, including more than 265 scholars and alumni at global universities. The program is centered on a rigorous internship experience that allows scholars to work as members of staff at Equity Bank branches around the country before they join university. The internships/program develops the scholars professionally, gives them real-world working experience, as well as college savings scheme which allows scholars to fund their university education in Kenya with their internship stipends. In addition to the pre-university internship experience, the program provides internships and leadership development experiences to scholars throughout their time in university and beyond.

The leadership development model seeks to develop scholars across four program areas:

1.   Personal and Professional Development to enable scholars to identify their unique talents and strengths and to match their individual interests with meaningful career opportunities

2.   Global Exposure to encourage scholars to expand their horizons and become world class-leaders who can compete and succeed in a global marketplace

3.  Creativity and Innovation to empower scholars to think creatively about providing solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing communities around the world

4.  Community Engagement to inspire scholars to use their abilities for good and to make a positive impact on society

While developing individual scholars across these four thematic areas, the program also endeavors to create a strong network of scholars who work 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 key 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 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 students at three high schools around Kenya: Kwale Girls, Nyawara Girls, and Nyagatugu Boys

·   The eQademy program which encourages scholars to take Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to complement their university education with ideas from leading global thinkers

·  The ELP Journals platform which encourages scholars to express themselves through writing and digital media, allowing them to share their poems, short stories, political commentary, photographs, and more with fellow scholars

·  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

Some of the leading institutions that have admitted our ELP Scholars over the lifetime of the program include:

Institution

Country

Number of Scholars

Harvard University

US

19

African Leadership Academy

South Africa

23

Ashesi University

Ghana

14

University of Toronto

Canada

14

Yale University

US

14

University of Pretoria

South Africa

12

Arizona State University

US

10

Duke University

US

9

University of Pennsylvania

US

9

Cornell University

US

7

Stanford University

US

7

University of California - Berkeley

US

6

University of Cape Town

South Africa

6

Amherst College

US

5

Brown University

US

5

Dartmouth College

US

5

McGill University

Canada

5

Princeton University

US

5

Smith College

US

5

Williams College

US

5

Northwestern University

US

4

Brandeis University

US

3

Columbia University

US

3

EARTH University

Costa Rica

3

Michigan State University

US

3

Middlebury College

US

3

University of Rochester

US

3

Vanderbilt University

US

3

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Alex Muhia

Equity Bank Group

T: 0763 026 007

E: Alex.Muhia@equitybank.co.ke

Alfred Ng’ang’a

BluePrint Marketing

T. 0763 799069

E. Alfred.Nganga@blueprint.co.ke

 

About Equity Group

Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL), formerly Equity Bank Group, is a financial services holding company in East Africa. The Group has banking subsidiaries in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania, with additional non-banking subsidiaries engaged in provision of investment banking, custodial, insurance agency, philanthropy, consulting and infrastructure services. Over the years, the Group has built a social and economic brand and scaled up by providing financial services to the masses through a diversified distribution of its products and services. It has also had a very unique approach to impacting the lives of the people in communities where it operates using existing infrastructure, enormous human capital and strong brand.