Our First Fellows!
The day we’ve been waiting for is here--we have selected our first group of Empowered to Educate Fellows. With over 25 inspiring applicants nominated by our wonderful partners, it was certainly difficult to narrow down the group. Fortunately, we were able to grant Fellowships to 10 impressive women.. Here is an inside look into the rigorous selection process.
From March to May, we accepted nominations from our partners in Ghana. Candidates were required to fill out a questionnaire that helped the selection committee uncover each applicant’s character, motivation, goals, and commitment to education. We asked questions like “Describe a moment when you created social change in your community” and “If selected as an Empowered to Educate Fellow, how do think this opportunity would contribute value to your community?”
Our applicants discussed the changes they had helped to make in their respective communities. From increasing high school retention rates, to decreasing the number of teen pregnancies, to equipping girls with practical skills to pursue careers in STEM, every candidate brought her energy and innovative approaches to the table.
Once the application window closed, we proceeded to the next step in the selection process: virtual interviews with every applicant. We asked them to reflect on the effect key figures had on their lives, instances where they had made mistakes and learned from them, and where they see the field of girls’ education going in Ghana. These conversations were key to understanding each candidate’s aspirations, strengths, and leadership qualities.
Many Zoom calls and scoring sheets later, the four interviewers had determined our Top 10. They are remarkable young women with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Their programs include early childhood development, inclusion, reading and literacy, communications, STEM and distance learning, among others. We are so excited to begin our program with them.
That long selection process was only the beginning. Now, we are busy acquainting our fellows with one another, creating mentorship pairs, and tailoring the curriculum to their needs.
We are excited to announce that next week, the first speaker to address the Fellows will be Rana Dajani, an accomplished researcher and teacher, founder of We Love Reading, and one of the top 100 most influential Arab women. We cannot imagine a better way to start our journey.