Equity Group has sponsored 64 students to top universities in the United States such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as it pushes to develop top talent under its leadership programme.
The bank is currently sponsoring 329 students in global universities with a total scholarship value of Sh8.2 billion.
“This programme epitomises the Tom Mboya academic airlift in the 1960s that saw the likes of Barack Obama Snr and the late Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai, who later impacted our country in social economic development,” said chief executive James Mwangi.
Equity Leadership Programme has now supported 3,405 scholars since inception with 90 per cent admitted to local public universities.
Equity Bank in partnership with MasterCard foundation has invested in sponsoring bright and needy children through secondary and university education.
Education in internationally recognised universities has been a preserve of wealthy families enabling them to secure top jobs locally and abroad.
Scholarship programmes enable bright children from poor backgrounds to receive global exposure and create necessary social network to change their fortunes.
Other institutions offering education scholarships in the country include KCB, Tullow Oil, Family Bank, Co-operative and beer maker East African Breweries Limited.
“They will gain global experience and exposure and will bring those skills and competitiveness back to Kenya,” said Mr Mwangi.
Equity’s Wings To Fly secondary school programme has so far benefited 12,377 students at a cost of more than Sh12 billion. The scholarship covers tuition fee, pocket money, transport, uniform and annual congress. To date 3,400 students have completed their secondary school education while close to 9,000 are still in secondary school.
From the university programme 1,029 beneficiaries are gainfully employed in leadership positions across the world and others pursuing their post-graduate studies. More than 2,376 are still pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
Equity’s scholarships have gained popularity owing to their community-driven recruitment programme.
Sponsored students have the responsibility of mentoring others from their communities and alma mater.
Some of the top schools that students will be joining this year include Princeton, Yale, Amherst, Duke, MIT, University of California Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, University of Toronto, Michigan State University, University of Leeds, Edinburg university and Carnegie Mellon university (in Rwanda).
Currently, there are 19 sponsored students in Harvard, 15 in Yale, Cornell (9), Amherst College (9) and seven at Stanford University.
County governments such as, Muranga county, have also started sponsoring bright needy children in their constituency.