KenSAP (Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project) an initiative that helps gifted, needy Kenyan high school graduates gain admission to highly selective universities in the United States and Canada has announced plans to expand its airlift programme to cater students across the country even as it looks for more donor funds.
The programme has till to date secured admissions for 179 Kenyan students to top-tier universities in North America since inception, making it one of the largest scholarship in the region. Some of the highly acclaimed institutions include Harvard (19 students), Yale (12 students) and Princeton (11 students) among others, all with full scholarships from the universities.
Speaking during a fundraising dinner in aid of scholarship beneficiaries travelling later this year, KenSAP Managing Director Alan Davidson said that currently the programme’s ambition has grown, from just placing scholars to developing a generation of leaders who can help lift the majority of Kenya’s citizens out of crippling poverty, and thereby also to lift the whole East African region, of which Kenya is the economic engine.
“In the year 2017, the programme maintained 100% admissions rate which is the largest class yet. A total 19 students will be heading to North America in August this year. Since 2006, all students who have been admitted to the KenSAP programme have also been admitted to a top university in North America and all with full scholarships. 75 of our 179 students have attended the official Ivy League Universities”, he said.
KenSAP’s greatest recent challenge is how to make the programme financially sustainable and not dependent on the support of a single major donor. Yesterday, the programme gained the support of more than a dozen Kenyan corporations that took part in the gala fundraising dinner where almost Ksh 8 million was raised to support the scholarship drive.