The first students in the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program have completed their first semesters at U.S. colleges and universities. The 10-year, $500 million program, established in October 2012, brings economically disadvantaged students from developing nations to the United States. Many of these students are from Africa. Some 15,000 students are expected to benefit from the program over the next decade.
The foundation, based in Toronto, has established a global network of institutions that brings African students to their campuses under full scholarships. The students receive mentoring and leadership development and life skills support. Participating institutions include Arizona State University, Michigan State University, Stanford University, the University of California Berkeley, Duke University, and Wellesley College.
Two MasterCard Foundation scholars are enrolled at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Martha Khalayi is from Kenya and is pursuing a pre-med curriculum with a focus on public health. Refilwe Kotane from Pretoria, South Africa, is interested in neuroscience and plans to study the intersection of medicine and business with an emphasis on pharmaceuticals.