By Merritt Frey, Executive Director
Thanks to the generosity of our donors (that's you!), this year we've launched a brand new project designed to inspire our students in Mali to dream big and continue their education.
The Inspiration Scholars Project helps outstanding Mali Rising students who graduate the 9th grade go on to high school or vocational training. For our first year, we kept it simple and offered scholarships for high school or for nursing school. Nursing school options included a one-year nursing assistant program or a three-year full nursing program. Either option provides a good quality living for graduates.
Students were nominated by their principals. A committee then selected our Inspiration Scholars based on their need, their likelihood to give back to Mali, and their academic results.
This project continues themes we always apply to our work. First, it works with the dreams and aspirations of our students...it is about what they want for their futures. Second, it provides quality education in Mali for Malians, investing in the institutions of Mali in addition to individuals. Lastly, it focuses on futures that will help our students but also help Mali as a whole by providing scholarships to students for careers that give back to Mali.
We'll be profiling our Inspiration Scholars for the next few weeks. Right now, you can meet Mariam who is off to nursing school and Djanaby, who is tackling high school in the "big" town of Ouelessebougou.