About the Wings to Fly Program

Founded in 2010, Wings to Fly is a competitive scholarship programme which increases access to secondary schooling and student success by providing comprehensive scholarships, mentoring, and leadership development training to promising yet economically disadvantaged students for the duration of their secondary school tenure. Scholarships cover tuition, room and board, books, transportation, uniforms, and incidental expenses.

Annually, students qualify to apply to Wings to Fly based on both academic performance and financial need. Applicants must place in the top fifth percentile on the nationally-administered Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination in their home district to be considered. Meanwhile, financial need is determined based on economic status and vulnerability, including as affected by the loss of one or both parents; parental illness or disability; and/ or displacement due to disaster or civil conflict. Equity Bank branch staff and local community leadership play a central role in vetting and ultimately selecting candidates by leading a transparent, community-owned process to interview and visit each prospective scholar and their families. This ensures that scholarships are indeed reaching those in need.

EGF and its partners stay involved to support studentsÔÇÖ academic success once they are selected and enrolled in school. Each scholar receives mentoring throughout the year to provide emotional support and encouragement. In addition, EGF holds an annual Education and Leadership Congress, where scholars spend time learning from successful professionals from the public and private sectors, and brainstorm and problem solve with each other on key national issues and challenges.

Wings to Fly is currently working to provide 10,000 secondary school scholarships by 2015. To date, EGF has supported 8,186 students’ matriculation to over 600 secondary schools nationwide, including 4,257 female students (52%), thanks in large part to the generous support of its founding partner, The MasterCard Foundation, as well as additional support from DFID, USAID, KfW, and numerous individual scholarship sponsors.

Equity African Leaders Programme: Started in 1998 by Equity Bank and now managed by EGF, the Equity African Leaders Programme (EALP) is a rigorous internship and leadership development programme which works to create a community of talented leaders who are capable of solving the worldÔÇÖs most pressing challenges. EALP targets top-achieving male and female students from across Kenya based on national secondary school examination results, and offers several concurrent and complementary initiatives aimed at increasing access totertiary education and ultimately academic, professional, and personal success. These include paid internship opportunities and a college savings scheme to help scholars finance their studies, a college counselling initiative, a virtual academy, an online literary journal, a secondary school mentoring programme, a business innovation and incubation working group, and a global summer internship programme. Since its inception, EALP has mentored more than1,950 scholars. EGF also works to establish relationships with and introduce scholars to top Kenyan universities and universities abroad. Thus far, this has led to 160 scholars accessing scholarships to world-class universities around the globe.