Equity Group Airlifts 64 Scholars to Global Universities



This brings to 465 the number of scholars who have joined the program since inception. The ELP’s objective is to develop a generation of servant leaders with global exposure and the drive to transform the African continent

Nairobi, Wednesday, 1st August 2018…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.

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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.

The Equity Leaders Program (ELP) starts as a transition pre-university program for the top performing students in all the counties. These include the ‘A’ scholars from the renowned Wings to Fly Program for academically gifted but financially challenged children executed by Equity Group in partnership with Mastercard Foundation with support of USAID, UKAID, KfW and other partners.


For more information, kindly contact:

Alex Muhia

Equity Bank Group

T: 0763 026 007 (Office)

T: 0763 618 871 (Mobile)

E: [email protected]

E: [email protected]

Geoffrey Nayema

Ogilvy PR

T: 0763 800 371

[email protected]


The 2018 ELP Scholars to Global Leading Universities

    1Viola Adhiambo OwitiAMoi Girls High School EldoretUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
    2Valentine Gituti WeirunguA-Moi Girls High School EldoretUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
    3Juliet Mutheu OtienoAPrecious Blood RirutaUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
    4Abdirahman Hajj SaladA-Dagoretti High SchoolUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
    5Joy Sere MvoiA-Teresa D’Lima Girls SecondaryShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina
    6Diana Wambui NjugunaA-Alliance Girls High SchoolEarth UniversityCosta Rica
    7Judyrose WamuyuA-University of NairobiSciences PoFrance
    8Esther Kavini NzauA-Alliance Girls High SchoolAshesi UniversityGhana
    9Gideon Kipruto RonoAKericho High schoolBudapest University of TechnologyHungary
  10Zacharia Ria NdunguALight AcademyNational Institute of TechnologyIndia
  11Felista Kemunto ObasiAMary Hill Girls High SchoolUWC AdriaticItaly
  12Rachel Wanjiru KimemiaA-Mugoiri GirlsEcole Centrale De NantesMauritius
  13Percy Chelangat MibeiAKaplong Girls High SchoolEcole Centrale De NantesMauritius
  14Odhiambo Moses OjwangAAlliance High SchoolEcole Centrale De NantesMauritius
  15Hellen Awuor OkeloA-The Kenya High SchoolAfrican Leadership UniversityRwanda
  16Lydiah Akinyi JwanA-Alliance Girls High SchoolAfrican Leadership UniversityRwanda
  17Edwin Nyongesa MukhebiASt. Teresa SecondaryCarnegie Mellon UniversityRwanda
  18Mubari Liz MwendwaAThe Kenya High SchoolUniversity of Cape TownSouth Africa
  19Cassandra DachaA-Moi Girls NairobiUniversity of Cape TownSouth Africa
  20June Wangari NyagaA-Kabare Girls’ High SchoolNecmettin Erbakan UniversityTurkey
  21Mohamednur Ali MohamedA-Alim High SchoolOndokuz Mayis UniversityTurkey
  22Matano Mohammed TelengoA-Sheikh Khalifa Bin ZayedYalova UniversityTurkey
  23Brenda KageniAPangani GirlsUniversity of EdinburghUK
  24Gabriel OhawaAKapsabet High/ Africa Leadership AcademyUniversity of EdinburghUK
  25Grace Nkatha KirujaA-Karima Girls High SchoolUniversity of EdinburghUK
  26Daniel NgoriaA-Alliance High SchoolUniversity of ManchesterUK
  27Joyce Chepngeno BorAMoi Tea Girls SecondaryBowdoin CollegeUSA
  28Phoebe Chepkemei LokweeAAlliance Girls High SchoolBrown UniversityUSA
  29Purity Kemunto BundiA-Sironga GirlsCarthage CollegeUSA
  30Collins KibetAAlliance High SchoolColby CollegeUSA
  31Kenneth KiprotichA-Alliance High SchoolColumbia UniversityUSA
  32Mumasi Benjamin WaluchioA-Moi Forces Academy – NairobiColumbia UniversityUSA
  33Nduhiu Linda WanjiruAThe Kenya High SchoolCornell UniversityUSA
  34Collins Kiprotich TooALitein High SchoolCornell UniversityUSA
  35Parit Jackson TupanaA-Alliance High SchoolCornell UniversityUSA
  36Gitahi Jeff MainaAUtumishi Boys AcademyDartmouth CollegeUSA
  37Douglas Gichohi MainaAAlliance High SchoolDuke UniversityUSA
  38Nduhiu Ian NderiAMoi High School MbiruriHamilton CollegeUSA
  39Haya Naphtal ObilloAAlliance High SchoolHarvard UniversityUSA
  40Kimurgor KalyaAMoi High School KabarakHarvard UniversityUSA
  41Rachael Mbuche KitiA-Bahari Girls SecondaryHillsdale CollegeUSA
  42Ngonge Timothy MbagaA-Kenyatta High MwatateLafayette CollegeUSA
  43Stephan NjumbiAStarehe Boys CenterM.I.TUSA
  44Veronica Wairimu MurigaAKenya High SchoolM.I.TUSA
  45Fabian Francis MkochekoANairobi SchoolMiddlebury CollegeUSA
  46Wainaina Grace WanjikuAMoi Girls School NairobiNorthwestern UniversityUSA
  47John Faith KasasiAAlliance Girls High SchoolNorthwestern UniversityUSA
  48Kelvin NgureA-Nairobi SchoolPennsylvania State UniversityUSA
  49Ronnie Kaigua KihongeAAlliance High SchoolPrinceton UniversityUSA
  50Lesly Chepchirchir KemboiA-Moi Girls High School EldoretSmith CollegeUSA
  51Ochako Hesbon MogereAKisii HighSwarthmore/NorthwesternUSA
  52Abdikadir Omar AbdulleANairobi SchoolTufts CollegeUSA
  53Vallary Muhambe MuhaliaAAlliance Girls High SchoolUniversity of ChicagoUSA
  54Kayeyia Roshelle GakiiAPrecious Blood RirutaUniversity of PennyslavaniaUSA
  55Naomi MarangaAKenya High SchoolUniversity of PennyslavaniaUSA
  56Mirriam ChemutaiAAlliance Girls High SchoolUniversity of PennyslavaniaUSA
  57Maronga Rhoda KendiAThe Kenya High SchoolUniversity of RochesterUSA
  58Dokata KosiAButula Girls/ Africa Leadership AcademyUniversity of RochesterUSA
  59Tracy Nyambura WambuiA-Precious Blood RirutaUniversity of Wisconsin – MadisonUSA
  60Kariuki Joyce MuthoniAKabare GirlsVanderbilt UniversityUSA
  61Mutuku Janice MutheuAMoi Girls School NairobiVanderbilt UniversityUSA
  62Walter Githaiga MwanikiA-Thika High SchoolVassar CollegeUSA
  63Kwena Tracy NdoreAThe Kenya High SchoolVassar CollegeUSA
  64Mwangi Wanjiku LornaAPrecious Blood RirutaYale UniversityUSA


About Equity Leaders Program

The Equity Leaders Program was founded in 1998 and has since scaled up over time to benefit a total of 12,236 scholars. The program admits the top performing boy and girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.) exams from each district in Kenya. Wings to Fly scholars who score an A in K.C.S.E. also qualify to join ELP. The Wings To Fly program aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Kenya and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills.

The program is centered on a rigorous internship experience that allows scholars to work as members of staff at Equity Bank branches around the country before they join university. The internships/program develops the scholars professionally, gives them real-world working experience, as well as a college savings scheme which allows scholars to fund their university education in Kenya with their internship stipends.

In addition to the pre-university internship experience, the program provides internships and leadership development experiences to scholars throughout their time in university and beyond. The leadership development model seeks to develop scholars across four program areas:

  1. Personal and Professional Development to enable scholars to identify their unique talents and strengths and to match their individual interests with meaningful career opportunities
  2. Global Exposure to encourage scholars to expand their horizons and become world class-leaders who can compete and succeed in a global marketplace
  3. Creativity and Innovation to empower scholars to think creatively about providing solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing communities around the world
  4. Community Engagement to inspire scholars to use their abilities for good and to make a positive impact on society


While developing individual scholars across these four thematic areas, the program also endeavors to create a strong network of scholars who work together across disciplines and sectors to transform their communities, their country, and the world at large.

This leadership development model is delivered through the following key initiatives:

  • The Internship program which allows scholars at local universities to return for internships with Equity Group and its partners during university holidays to get professional experience while saving for their university education. The program runs for the 9-18 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university.
  • The Global Summer Internship Program which allows scholars studying at international universities to return to Africa for their summer holidays and intern with Equity Group and its partners, giving them work experience and building their professional networks on the continent
  • The College Counseling program which supports Equity scholars to access admission and scholarships to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Ivy League universities in the US
  • The annual Leadership Congress which allows scholars to connect with each other to form a strong community, learn about leadership and employability skills, and interact with successful leaders from various industries
  • The Innovators Program which trains and develops scholars in innovation and entrepreneurship skills, allowing them to write business plans and pitch their ideas for seed funding
  • The Centers of Excellence program where scholars provide residential mentorship to students at three high schools around Kenya: Kwale Girls, Nyawara Girls, and Nyagatugu Boys
  • The eQademy program which encourages scholars to take Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to complement their university education with ideas from leading global thinkers
  • The ELP Journals platform which encourages scholars to express themselves through writing and digital media, allowing them to share their poems, short stories, political commentary, photographs, and more with fellow scholars
  • The University Chapters at campuses in Kenya and abroad that serve as platforms for interaction, networking, and activities for the scholars during their university session
  • The Wings to Fly Mentorship Program which enables scholars to visit Wings to Fly high school scholarship recipients at their respective high schools to provide mentorship and academic coaching


465 ELP scholars have been admitted or are currently studying at top global universities. ELP has been developing academically bright high school graduates across five dimensions: values, skills, education, work experience and global networks. 

About Global University Scholars

During their internship period, ELP invites applications from the scholars who wish to study abroad. They are taken through a rigorous college counselling program in readiness for submitting outstanding applications to top global universities. Several scholars have proceeded to study in Ivy League institutions in the USA and leading universities in Canada, UK, China, Spain, Turkey, France, South Korea, South Africa, Ghana and Rwanda.

A good number of our scholars are now working globally. Many of the scholars are also finding internship offers in globally competitive corporations thereby opening up opportunities for career development at the global level. Several of these scholars have returned to Kenya after completing their studies.

By Harriet Kwamboka

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