The Scholars are selected from the highest ranked Government Schools in and around Arusha, and remain in their Schools, as well as participate in the enrichment of the Serengeti Scholars Project.
Serengeti Scholars are Secondary and High School Students who are high potential/high accomplishing, yet lack the financial resources to attend even the least expensive Tanzanian Government schools. We consider students of this age, and not younger, because we reason that if a child that has grown up in poverty, has survived, and is excelling in school – that we have a high predictor of success. So we consider a student’s academic potential before his or her parent’s economic situation.
Students accepted into the Project are provided with all the things needed to be successful in school. The obvious things here in the US are the out of reach in a TZ Government School: No books, other than the few in the library that cannot be removed from the premises, class sizes of 80-100 :1 teacher, and many more obstacles. We remove each obstacle. In turn, to remain in the Project, the Scholars are held to higher academic standards than the other Government School students.
Over 40 of the 56 Scholars are young women. They are out to be the 1.5% of women who attend High School. All of the Scholars study STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In a young country with little infrastructure, all of these professions are desperately needed.
The Serengeti Scholars Project has grown based on need: Food for Families, Medical and Crisis Intervention, and a Women’s Business Program designed to develop economic independence for the original group of 38 single mothers of the Scholars.