Top 2018 KCSE student bags US scholarship

Monday, November 4th, 2019 09:31 |
KenSAP chairman Charles Field Marsham (second left), Insta Products (EPZ) Ltd CEO, Dhiren Chandaria with KenSAP scholars, Juliet Otieno and Tevin Villa Singei. PD/ JOHN OCHIENG

Irene Juliet Otieno, the girl who topped the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, has secured a scholarship to study in one of the best North America universities.

The scholarship by the Kenya Scholar Access Programme (KenSAP) will fund her university education to a tune of Sh4 million. Juliet had earlier secured a place at the Technical University of Kenya to pursue Electronic Engineering under the government sponsorship programme but says she prefers to study abroad. 

During this year’s fundraising dinner aimed at supporting KenSAP, Charles Field-Marsham, the programme board chairman, said:  “We are bringing on board a team of 21 students this year. The beneficiaries will fly to their respective universities in August next year.” 

The beneficiaries, drawn from across the country’s 47 counties, sat their exams last year and all combined managed an average score of 81 points, which is a grade, A plain.

Juliet admitted her going to a foreign place for the first time-ever would be intimidating, but adds that with the KenSAP community established in the USA, she has nothing to fear. 

 “I have been introduced to western culture through classical films, history, and literature lessons; this makes me confident in attending an American university,” she says.

Speaking when Otieno was awarded the scholarship, KenSAP ’s   Executive Director Alan Davidson, said the funding has enabled 20 Kenyan students, selected annually, to gain admission to select universities in the US and Canada. 

KenSAP has since opened its doors to students from Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Sudan but living in Kenya. Since inception 14 years ago, the project has helped 197 students gain admission to American universities. More than 80 attend Ivy League universities.

Out of the more than 100 university graduates to date, 16 have earned or are pursuing PhDs while 35 have earned or are pursuing other advanced degrees. 

Over 50 alumni have returned to Kenya to work for multinational corporations, international NGOs, Kenyan companies, or to develop their startups.

More on Education