In 2011, the Equity Group Foundation launched the Wings To Fly program with the generous support of The MasterCard Foundation with the aim of granting over 10,000 comprehensive secondary school scholarships and leadership training to academically gifted yet economically and socially marginalized young Kenyans. The program defines social and economic vulnerability to include students who have lost of one or both parents, students whose parents are living with HIV or chronic illnesses and who are unable to educate their children, and families affected by disaster such as famine.
The Program has been designed to give hope to bright, deserving children by giving them the opportunity to obtain an education and resultant benefits including better educational outcomes, improved chances of success in life, increased gender equality in secondary education, new opportunities for students from rural areas to access education and greater social integration among students.
In addition to a focus on academic excellence and achievement, the program's curriculum places an emphasis on skills development and networks to help students succeed in secondary school and beyond. Upon graduation, scholars with high academic achievements will be selected for internships with Equity Bank. They will be part of an alumni program that hosts annual conferences and facilitates networking with industry leaders.
Potential scholars are selected through a transparent and community owned selection process. District Scholarship Selection Boards (DSSB) are constituted in all recruiting districts under the coordination of the Equity Bank branch in the locality.
Students who rank in the top 5th percentile in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations are identified and screened based on factors of social and economic vulnerability. Local community partners who comprise the DSSB are responsible for the selection and interview process.
The DSSB comprises of the following:
District Education Officer (Chairman), Equity Bank Branch Growth & Development Manager (Secretary & Coordinator), District Social Development Officer, a Bishop/Pastor/Sheikh/Imam, CDF Chairman, District Women leader, District Youth leader, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association Chairman, Kenya Primary School Heads Association Chairman, KTDA Zonal Director (for Tea Zones), Mayor/Chairman Council, and 2 Equity Agents Representatives (Lady & Gentleman).