The son of farmers, Nigus Hagos Kahsay grew up in a village called Sihet, in the Hintalo Wejirat district in Tigray. Three years ago, imagine1day selected him as one of our Graduate Fund students. We gave his family a seed loan and business training to help them start their own income generating activity so that they could put Nigus through high school.
Today, this bright 15-year-old with a 94.4 per cent average is at the top of his Grade 11 class.
Thanks to his academic excellence, Nigus was amongst the 100 students selected to participate in the Yale Young African Scholars Program in August, 2014. A total of 1,200 outstanding students from 11 African countries applied.
“MY FUTURE VISION IS TO BECOME A DOCTOR AND TO TAKE PART IN RESEARCH TO CURE DISEASES.” – NIGUS KAHSAY, SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
“imagine1day’s support since I was in Grade 9 has helped me to not only compete with my classmates, but also to compete with African students and to be a success,” says Nigus.
During the five-day program this August, Nigus is looking forward to understanding global issues, strategizing solutions, and making a meaningful impact on the development of his country. “I feel very happy and proud of Nigus,” says Tirhas Desta, our Graduate Fund supervisor. She was so confident in this student that she rushed to help Nigus submit his application with just one week to meet Yale’s deadline. I appreciate him for his self-discipline and for his commitment. Nigus is brilliant and super talented. He is a great example for other Graduate Fund students. I hope this program will help him succeed in his vision to become a great young leader.” Nigus’ favourite subject is biology. “My future vision is to become a doctor and to take part in research to invent medicine for HIV/AIDS and other diseases,” he says.
The Game Plan
In two districts in the region of Tigray we’ll make high school a reality for our brightest students who would not otherwise have the economic means to continue their education.
WE’RE SUPPORTING GIRLS IN PURSUING THEIR HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
We’ll fund high school scholarships for 72 girls and boys. Parents will receive seed funding and business training to earn income. After one year, families will self-fund their girls’ high school educations.
imagine1day’s High School Scholarship Program is designed to support high performing girls from poor and disadvantaged households in rural Ethiopia in completing a full course of high school education (Grades 9-12) and in developing as future leaders of Ethiopia.
Concurrently, the program supports the families of scholarship recipients in developing micro-enterprises to support their girl’s education while increasing their financial position and economic potential. Traditional scholarships are essentially aid solutions, with very little involvement of families in the education of their children. By simultaneously supporting families with seed loans to create the resources to own the legacy of their girl’s education, families have a clear advantage to keeping their children in school and furthering their education.