Current Scholars

Meet our Mastercard Foundation Scholars!

From the Class of 2017 through the Class of 2023, Wellesley will provide a total of 23 African women with comprehensive support that includes scholarships, mentoring, and internship opportunities. Scholars represent the following10 countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

Class of 2023

Annelle A. Kayisire '23 (Rwanda), Major: Biological Sciences and Media Arts & Sciences

Annelle Abatoni Kayisire grew up in Kigali with her parents and four siblings. Her earliest memories include being a sister for the first time, where she witnessed, through her mother, the mundane but indispensable strength of women. Her biggest ambitions include improving sexual and reproductive health of women, and designing creative technology and media projects for social impact. She is passionate about thoughtful action towards social justice. Annelle plans to major in Media Arts and Sciences, fulfilling her desire to explore both scientific and design thinking. When she's not frantically trying to finish homework, she will be reading brain pickings newsletters or listening to obscure soul music.

Bilqis Omoyeni Ayeni '23 (Nigeria), Major: Neuroscience

Bilqis Ayeni was the Valedictorian at her High School and graduated summa cum laude from a Sixth Form School she attended thereafter. Bilqis is passionate about children's studies and has completed various community projects in that regard in her neighborhood. Her hobbies are sewing and reading Marvel comics.

Ropafadzo Shava '23 (Zimbabwe), Major: Computer Science and Economics

Ropafadzo Beverly Shava is interested in the applications of computer science in medicine. As a Makomborero Zimbabwe ( alumni, the act of giving back to the community has been imprinted in her DNA as such she has been involved in several voluntary activities such as being a Girl Child ( mentor, STEM subjects tutor and advisor. During her gap year, she ventured into entrepreneurship when she established her first Oyster mushroom farming project along with her parents. 

Class of 2022

Adhel Geng '22 (South Sudan), Major: Media Arts & Sciences and Philosphy

Honors: Mastercard Entrepreneurship competition winner

Adhel is a senior majoring in Media Arts and Sciences and a second major in Philosophy. In pursuit of curiosity, she worked as a student researcher over the summer for the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative and the Wellesley College Science Center. On campus, Adhel works at Slater International Center as a student office assistant where she gets to apply her graphic and web design skills . She is also an intern this semester for WZLY, Wellesley College’s student run local radio station. Adhel is interested in the intersectionality between traditional media art and form and the modern fast-paced world of technology.

Noella G. Ingabire '22 (Rwanda and Burundi), Major: Economics & East Asian Languages and Cultures - Korean 

Noella was born in Burundi, grew up in Rwanda and graduated from Lycee Notre Dame de Cîteaux, one of the most respected secondary schools in Rwanda. She was an active member of the school’s debate club and had the opportunity to participate in the iDebate competition. Noella also founded a Francophonie Club, dedicated to promoting and nurturing awareness of French culture and language through weekly meetings, activities, and events. One mentor highlighted her global mindset and unwavering motivation in addition to her poise; bright intellect and unique desire to learn languages. Noella plans to use her U.S. degree to revolutionize Rwanda’s agricultural and food production industries by providing farmers with better, more sustainable food preservation methods. She committed herself to solve the issue of agricultural waste after witnessing firsthand the impact that food losses have on the country’s economy, environment, and social development, and it has ever since been a priority of hers to address this pressing issue. Learn more about Noella:

Josephine Awino Odhiambo '22 (Kenya), Major: Economics and Environmental Studies

Awino is currently a senior. Her academic interests revolve around environmental policy and economics. She majors in environmental studies and minors in economics.

Etsegenet Seleshi Tsega '22 (Ethiopia), Major: Economics and Philosphy

Before embarking on her journey at Wellesley, Etsegenet took a gap year where she worked at the Institute of International Education and International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia. She describes her gap year journey to be transformative as it gave her an opportunity to work on projects that focused on designing a curriculum that promotes global thinking while fostering appreciation of local culture and sense of belonging. She was also in a team that researched on ways to empower and support girls in low income communities to pursue their dreams. In June 2019, Etsegenet was enrolled in a summer program at Sciences Po where she studied public economics. She was engaged in projects that analysed market failures and the effectiveness of government policy responses. Etsegenet hopes to contribute to guiding individuals, companies and governmental organizations make economic decisions that align with their goals to foster growth and well being.