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College Access Program educates about 200 Kenyan students in top American Universities

Over the last 15 years, the Kenya Scholar Access Program (KenSAP) has placed 197 students with full need-based financial aid packages at top North American Universities.

The students, picked from all across the country’s 47 counties, represent a national selection of Kenya’s most promising students. 

“Of the more than 100 university graduates to date, 16 have earned or are pursuing PhD’s, as well as an additional 35 who have earned or are pursuing Masters or other advanced degrees. There are also more than 50 alumni who have returned to Kenya to work for multinational corporations, international NGOs, Kenyan companies, or to develop their startups,” said John Manners co-founder of KenSAP. 

Besides that, Manners said that “as a result of KenSAP students attending many of the elite universities in North America, Kenyan undergraduates now outnumber those of any other African country on the said university campuses.” 

“As our Scholars return home to Kenya, the organization’s success and the success of its alumni sets Kenya up to play a leading role in African development in the coming decades.” said Alan Davidson, KenSAP’s Executive Director.

With only Ksh.15 million annual budget, KenSAP has generated more than Ksh.5 billion in financial aid packages, granted by the universities that KenSAP Scholars attend. There are usually 15 to 20 deserving Kenyan students selected to KenSAP annually, and assisted in gaining admission to the most selective universities in the United States and Canada. 

However, it recently opened its doors to students living in Kenya who hail from Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Sudan.

After an elaborate selection process, accepted students participate in two extended residential training sessions, which prepares them for the American SAT exams and introduces them to the American university system with its complex application procedure.

More than being successful in university admissions, KenSAP assists its Scholars in university and as they navigate life and their careers after university. KenSAP works with about 30 companies based in Kenya who act as employment partners, hiring KenSAP graduates for internships and full-time positions.

“In addition to offering guidance throughout my time in university, KenSAP provided the guidance I needed after graduation—through the networks and career support system, I was encouraged and prepared to apply to some of the most competitive jobs in Kenya,” said Maryanne Chege a KenSAP 2018 graduate of Harvard University. 

Also central to KenSAP is an emphasis on service and a continued commitment to the community. 

As Eve Rotich, a KenSAP alumna currently working with one of the oil marketers in the country explained, “KenSAP not only seeks and obtains opportunities for us to grow, it has become an organization that deeply nurtures its beneficiaries into being solution seekers for their community and country. KenSAP for me is a lifestyle of positive impact.” 

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