Since 1998, Equity Bank has been sponsoring bright Kenyan students to local universities to study various courses. The programme benefits the top boy and top girl in KCSE in each district in the country where Equity Bank has a branch.
In 2014, the first group of Wings to Fly scholars were admitted into the programme, with an initial intake of 115. The second intake in 2015 was even larger with 340 scholars qualifying for the programme. When the first class of Wings to Fly scholars sat for their KCSE in 2013, they knew that another coveted and highly competitive sponsorship, the Equity Leaders Programme (ELP), awaited those who would qualify. Scholars in this programme interact with the Wings to Fly scholars and mentor them on academic excellence.
The Equity Leaders Programme gives the Wings to Fly scholars inspiration to continue focusing on academic excellence by working to equip academically gifted secondary school graduates from across Kenya with the professional and leadership skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
It also cultivates a community of ethical leaders, who work together across disciplines and sectors to transform the lives of their families, communities, country and the world at large.
The Equity Bank airlift program to global universities has this year reached a value of Kshs 11.13 billion, with 465 scholars having secured admissions to universities abroad, including Ivy League institutions.
Collins Kiprotich Too is one of the #EquityAirlift2018 scholars. He was a student of Litien High school where he scored an A and he is now headed to study in Cornell University. pic.twitter.com/4d1rFyPf9w
— Equity Bank Kenya (@KeEquityBank) August 1, 2018
The 64 beneficiaries joining the program this year have been admitted on full scholarships to leading varsities in the world. Since its inception, the airlift program has seen top Kenyan students join such prestigious institutions as Harvard (22 scholars), University of British Columbia (13), Yale (13), Stanford University (7), Princeton (7), Duke (14), University of Pennsylvania (14), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) (6), Amherst College (10), Brown University (7), Cornell University (15), Dartmouth College (8), Michigan State University (9), University of Toronto (15), University of Edinburg (5), University of California, Berkeley (9), Carnegie Mellon (3) and African Leadership University (12) among others.
The Bank further extended a stipend of between Kshs 100,000 and Kshs 200,000 to each of the 64 scholars leaving the country, totaling to Kshs 11.4 million for their travel and other essentials.
Speaking during the send-off ceremony, Equity Group CEO and Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation Dr. James Mwangi advised the scholars to exploit the extraordinary opportunities for academic excellence, leadership training, networking and global exposure that the scholarships offer.
“This global experience is only available to a select few and will shape your mindset and set you on a path to influence your community and contribute to the socio-economic transformation of our country. Take advantage of the numerous opportunities to build global networks and get a world-class all-round education. You will inspire other secondary school students back here in Kenya to believe that they can realize their dreams and compete on the global stage with other scholars from around the world,” said Dr. Mwangi.
The 2018 cohort are part of a larger group of 12,236 scholars in the Equity Leaders Program (ELP). The students have already gone through a year’s mentorship and a paid internship program at the Bank, which is fashioned as an advanced leadership development training. ELP is run by Equity Bank and coordinated by Equity Group Foundation which is the social investment subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc.
To prepare the scholars for their arrival in universities abroad, the Bank facilitated 33 ELP scholars already in international universities to come home for the Global Summer Internship Program (GSIP) run by Equity Group Foundation to mentor the 2018 applicants.
GSIP is an opportunity for ELP scholars studying in global universities to intern with Equity Group during their summer holiday. The program ensures scholars studying abroad maintain the connection to their communities in Kenya. It aims to create a community of transformative leaders who work together across borders and across sectors to drive sustainable economic growth and social progress in Africa.