Scholarship graduate and future lawyer, Rose
WomensTrust Launches Scholarships for College-Bound Graduates
Earlier this year, several generous donors of WomensTrust provided seed funding for a new scholarship program to send our interns to college.
Regina, Mary, and Stella, the young women who intern in WomensTrust's office in Pokuase, have big dreams. They’ve already accomplished what the majority of girls in Ghana do not: they've graduated from high school.
And now, they want to accomplish even bigger things with their lives -- go to college, and pursue careers. Regina wants to be a nurse. Mary wants to become a teacher of fashion design. Stella wants to be an accountant.
But going to the university is out of the question for most girls in Ghana, who average just 11 years of school. Making it to the 8th grade is usually where a girl's education ends; just 2-3% ever finish senior high.
Even though children attend public primary and junior high schools in Ghana for free, there are still costs involved like uniforms, school supplies, and entrance exam fees that are beyond the reach of too many of Ghana's poorest citizens. And if families can only afford to keep some of their children in school, it's usually the girls that are pulled out first.
Girls like Stella, who was raised by a single mother struggling to support her family as a petty trader and had no other choice but to withdraw her daughter from school. A multi-year education scholarship from WomensTrust--costing less than $300 a year -- enabled Stella to go back and finish junior high, then stay in high school all the way through to graduation.
Regina and Mary also grew up in impoverished circumstances, but were also able to finish high school because of WomensTrust education scholarships.
"I don't know what my life would have been like had I not been able to finish school," says Stella, now 19. "I might have been a trader like my mother and always struggling."
Currently, about 25% of the more than 185 girls who've received education scholarshps from WomensTrust this year are enrolled in senior high school, and will be ready to graduate within the next one to three years. WomensTrust will be there to ensure these girls finish high school. And then be there to provide the support they need to reach for their life's dreams. Or, as Regina says, "to turn impossible upside down."
On a recent visit to our office in Pokuase, we met another WomensTrust scholarship graduate, Rose. At 19, Rose posesses the poise, confidence and expressiveness of someone who was at the top of her class, as she was. Rose dreams of becoming a lawyer, and maybe running for office one day, "because our country needs more women leaders," she says. Acing the entrance exams would be no problem for Rose. But she is from a poor family, and there is no money to support a university education. So Rose stays at home, helping with chores as she dreams of a better future.
In 2014, WomensTrust aims to build our university scholarship program so we can enable Rose and other promising young women leaders to reach for their dreams and "turn impossible upside down." Please, these young women need your support.
WT intern Stella dreams of becoming an accountant
WT interns Stella, Regina & Mary address visitors
On the path to graduation: Christiana & Abigail