In September 2013, Rwanda's Ministry of Education, together with Bridge2Rwanda and the top high schools in Rwanda, recognized the importance of making a measurable commitment to help the country's best students earn scholarships to the best universities in the world. This gave rise to the "100 Scholarships to Educate Future Leaders Commitment,"
Since initiating the 100 Scholarships to Educate Future Leaders commitment, to date, 90 Bridge2Rwanda (B2R) Scholars gap year students and students from two partner high schools have earned full need scholarships to international universities. By the end of the first year of B2R's ongoing commitment (August 2014), 60 Rwandan students had earned scholarships to international universities including Harvard (3), Yale, UPenn (2), and the University of Chicago. So far this year, an additional 46 students have been offered early admissions and scholarships to top universities (for a total of 106 scholarships overall). This represents only the first part of Bridge2Rwanda and its partner schools' scholarship results for 2015, which will be available in full by June 2015. The current universities where Rwandan students are admitted for fall 2015 include: Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, University of Rochester, Pitzer, and other highly selective universities.
The Bridge2Rwanda Scholars Program also expanded in the last year to include a small percentage of students from three conflict-torn neighboring countries - South Sudan, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. By adding scholars from these other countries, B2R is doing its part to dissolve barriers and enmities and broaden Rwanda's regional impact. B2R is raising a new cohort of leaders for East Africa, while boosting the value of the scholars program to universities, foundations and potential supporters. This also helps Rwanda achieve its goal of becoming a regional center of excellence in East Africa in the area of international educational opportunities.
In the first year since initiating the "100 Scholarships to Educate Future Leaders" commitment, a total of 60 Rwandan students from Bridge2Rwanda Scholars gap year program and two Rwandan partner high schools have accepted full need scholarships to international universities. These 60 Rwandan students are now in their first year at Duke University, Harvard College, the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Babson College, Bates College and Texas Christian University, among others. With 48 of the Rwandan students beginning at U.S. universities (in August 2014), this represents an approximately 60 percent increase in Rwandan students starting college in the U.S. compared to 2012.
Led by Rwanda's Ministry of Education and Bridge2Rwanda, the commitment members are confident that by August 2015, they will exceed the "100 Scholarships" goal and continue to implement this commitment through its third year (ending August 2016).