October 20, 2023

Gaining Clarity about the Impact of Scholarships

Jenerica (pictured above in her role as a teacher) completed secondary school in 2015,
She later earned her teacher’s certificate and constructed a house, and
provides school support for two other youth in her community.

SYEF’s core program has always been awarding scholarships that cover 100% of the cost of secondary school, including tuition, room and board, uniforms and supplies, and other requirements. SYEF’s first cohort of scholarship recipients completed secondary school just about 10 years ago, giving us a great opportunity today to understand the long-term impact of the organization’s support.

A 2019 evaluation project clarified that the greatest impact of SYEF’s scholarship program was it opened an opportunity to attend secondary school that would otherwise be unavailable to our recipients. The young men and women already had the work ethic and motivation to do well, and just needed external support to help access more formal education (primary school in Kenya is free, but secondary school is not).

After completing secondary school, what happens?

We spent some time the past six months undertaking a “where are they now” project of SYEF scholarships alumni, to better understand their post-secondary pathways and SYEF’s long-term impact.

Then, our organizational team spent some time discussing and deliberating. And in the end, these are the impacts SYEF contributes to via their scholarships:

At the time of completing secondary school with their diploma, we anticipate graduates to feel competent and confident as problem solvers and critical thinkers, aware of and disciplined with the life skills necessary to pursue personal goals, and competitive for tertiary education or entry level work.

Three years after completing secondary school, we anticipate graduates to be attending tertiary education or participating in early career employment, have the problem-solving skills and/or means to ensure their basic needs are met, and participate in initiatives and/or volunteerism for the benefit of their community, as possible.

Five years after completing secondary school, we anticipate graduates are actively involved in tertiary education or career track employment, can establish food and housing security for themselves, and continue to participate in community activities as leaders and role models.

After 10 years of completing secondary school, we anticipate graduates are established in a career or vocation, contribute to the food and housing security of others in their family and/or community, and have the skills and experience to achieve upward mobility.

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Providing equitable opportunities for Samburu youth to enhance their leadership development and problem-solving skills through educational scholarships and civic involvement opportunities.

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