Meet our Mastercard Foundation Scholars!
Class of 2023
Annelle Kayisire '23
Bilikisu Ayeni '23
Ropafadzo Shava '23
Class of 2022
Adhel Geng '22
Adhel received Best Female Student upon final review and was second in class after the top male student. She was a debate club member and radio station newscaster. Her teachers are impressed with her ability to excel, to develop innovative solutions and feel that she is the brightest scholar to come from South Sudan in the last several years.
Noella Ghislaine Ingabire '22
Noella founded the Francophone Club, was a member of the debate team, played basketball, and participated in the National Science Fair. One mentor highlighted her global mindset and unwavering motivation in addition to her poise; bright intellect and unique desire to learn languages.
Josephine Awino Odhiambo '22
Awino pursued the most demanding curriculum in the IB Diploma program while engaging in multiple extracurricular pursuits. She enrolled in a permaculture training class to gain insight into agricultural practices. One teacher expressed that Awino is a mature open-minded critical thinker with great self-management skills.
Etsegenet Seleshi Tsega '22
Etsegenet became passionate about healthcare; and engaging with and helping people through her research on obstetric fistula. Her teachers have stated that Etsegenet is able to comprehend abstract, complex and challenging concepts. She is intensely curious, affable and an integral part of any community.
Class of 2021
Shukri Ahmed Ali ’21
Shukri, who was born in Hargeysa, Somalia, and has 11 brothers and sisters, has overcome tremendous barriers in her pursuit of an education. She defied cultural expectations and secretly took an entrance exam for an English-medium boarding school in her home country of Somalia. After her family forbade her to enroll, her grandmother intervened and Shukri was able to attend Abaarso School, where she joined one of her country's first female soccer teams and was inducted into her school's first class of National Honor Society graduates. She also created an astronomy club and became the first student from her country to do a yearlong exchange program in the US, at a public school in Massachusetts, where she learned about Wellesley. Shukri feels that everyone, regardless of gender or family background, deserves a life filled with the basic necessities, including education; and her ultimate goal is to make this a reality for her fellow Somalis. She also plans to contribute to the growing field of learning centered on our Universe.
Priscilla Oluwakemi Badusi ’21
Born and raised in Nigeria, Priscilla was able to enroll in the Federal Government Academy (Centre for the Gifted and Talented) Ondo, Nigeria. Her teachers emphasized her exceptional natural ability plus an eagerness to learn. She excelled in English, physics, and economics and was honored as second best graduating senior. Priscilla participated in many interschool, interstate, and national competitions. At the Pan African Olympiad for girls she emerged in second place for the Niger State. She was also an influential and active member of the Press Club, HIV/AIDS Club, and the Library Club, and Red Cross Society volunteer. As a woman, she feels that she is uniquely prepared to make a meaningful contribution in the real world; and as a strategic thinker she would like to read her environment and navigate challenges with a new course of action. She plans to pursue Biological Chemistry and Economics at Wellesley.
Irene Ingabire ’21
From Kamembe, Rwanda, Irene credits her late mother’s example with instilling in her a passion for learning and achieving a post secondary degree. She has a creative thoughtful manner and eagerness to learn, coupled with the ability to motivate and organize. Serving as Class President for three years, she led her class to 100% success in the National Exams. She also participated in the Catholic School Choir and helped serve as caretaker at home. In her country, most women do not go to college, but often get married after high school. Irene was determined to focus on social growth and spirituality, and with the assistance of the local nuns, created a program for her fellow graduates. Under Irene’s guidance, they learned that they could impact their society in a positive manner, that seeking help from others was a learning experience, and that they could connect in their everyday lives for the future. Irene also joined the Bridge 2 Rwanda Program to prepare for applying to enrolling in colleges abroad.
Yeukai Songore ’21
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Yeuki’s high school teachers say her natural leadership and outstanding interpersonal skills enhanced her preparedness and made her a favorite among peers. She received a scholarship to the Makomborero Zimbabwe A-level Scholarship Programme in 2014, which allowed her to enroll at Gateway High School, a top private boarding school in Zimbabwe. She is drawn to Wellesley because of its limitless educational options, as well as dance, music, and singing groups, including Yanvalou. She hopes her strong sense of self will allow her to evolve and learn so she can bring her new strengths back to her community.
Class of 2020
Dagmawit Libanos Assefa ’20
Dagmawit, who was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, attended the Lideta Catholic Cathedral School. Committed to intellectual curiosity, science—particularly physics and mathematics—and research are important to her. Her love and curiosity of this field grew as she progressed through secondary school, and at Lideta she invented a rocket propulsion system. She feels that her passion for physics and science education will help her to effect change in her country, and that opportunities at Wellesley will support her desire to assume her responsibility to society.
Christine Oginga ’20
From Kisumu, Kenya, Christine Oginga's outstanding academic performance led her to a scholarship to the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, which recognizes students with gifted leadership potential. At Wellesley, Christine is undecided about her major but plans to focus on human or urban issues, and further pursue her interest in cinema and media studies as well as theatre arts. After graduating from Wellesley, her goal is to provide quality education to talented students from a lower economic background, as well as influence change in Kenyan education initiatives.
Sandra Amponsah Ohemeng ’20
Sandra, who is from Konogo, Ghana, attended Yaa Asantewaa Girls' Senior High School in Ghana, a school established by the Ghanaian President to inspire excellence in young women who wish to become leaders in their community and in Ghana. After witnessing a teacher’s epileptic seizure and resulting mistreatment due to misinformation, Sandra researched this neurological disorder, as well as cofounded the Premiere Youth Network, which advocated for youth to engage in community building. She is passionate about the combination of education and healthcare and aspires to be a medical doctor who is a change-maker for her home country.
Nomaqhawe “Gwen” Ncube ’19
Nomaqhawe “Gwen” Ncube ’19, who attended Mpopoma High School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, excelled in science, in part because she enjoyed proving her teachers wrong. As a result, she is a success in a traditionally male-dominated field. What started out as a practical reason has become a true passion for Gwen, and she looks forward to studying science in conjunction with social sciences in preparation for returning to Zimbabwe to improve the lives of her countrymen. She envisions herself as a vocal proponent of educational access in Zimbabwe, particularly for girls, and an advocate for women’s rights.