Every year, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars program welcomes new undergraduates and graduates from sub-Saharan Africa to Michigan State University's campus. These Scholars have demonstrated academic talent and have a personal commitment to give back to their countries.
Biography: Nadege is an undergraduate studying nursing. She dreams of working in public health sectors especially the underdeveloped areas of Rwanda to improve maternal and child health. All of the activities she was involved with in high school—including teaching illiterate adults in her hometown village—have helped her develop leadership skills. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is providing Nadege with the education necessary for her to reach her goal of becoming a family nurse practitioner. During the summer of 2015 she interned with the Human Development Initiative in Rwanda where she worked on projects to promote health in rural areas.
Biography: Mukangwa is an undergraduate from Zambia majoring in Actuarial Science.
Biography: Mavis is from Gara-Tongo Ghana, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University for Development Studies. She graduated from MSU with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Political Science from the College of Social Science in 2014. She believes that The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has given her a platform to contribute to the development of communities and to serve as a role model to other African youth faced with obstacles to education. Mavis returned to Ghana in 2013 to join the Centre for Democractic Development, an Afrobarometer affiliate.
Biography: Victor is from Nigeria where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He is graduated with a Master’s Degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition in 2014. Victor has a passion for independent research in the area of food harvesting, marketing, and food safety. When asked about his future aspirations, Victor explains, “My desire to contribute towards scientific research on food safety in Nigeria has coupled with my innate proclivity for teaching, and this has spurred a desire in me to pursue a professional career in teaching and research.”
Biography: Thelma is from Zambia where she obtained her bachelor’s degree. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics in 2014. Thelma believes that The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has enhanced her motivation to give back to Africa in the role of an agro-economist who can forecast future trends and make sound recommendations based on the application of economic theory and knowledge. Thelma has been working with MSU partner, Alliance for Commodity Trade (ACTESA) in Eastern and Southern Africa for several years and wishes to continue to make her contributions through this organization for the development of Zambia. Thelma returned to Zambia in the summer of 2014 to join the Indaba Agricultural Policy Institute in Lusaka Zambia.
Biography: Rebecca is from Uganda where she obtained her undergraduate degree at Makerere University. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the College of Education in 2014. Rebecca returned to Uganda and is using her skills and knowledge to develop communities by helping some of the most disadvantaged. She is working to empower and sensitize people about the importance of treating others equally regardless of their disabilities, background, or health condition. She also hopes to advocate for reforms to the education system that will positively impact learners with disabilities. Through its emphasis on service to others, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has helped Rebecca sharpen her vision “to facilitate the rejuvenation of hope, determination, and the acquisition of skills in order to achieve better standards of living for all.”
Biography: Stella is from Mozambique where she obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Algarve. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Plant Breeding, Genetics & Biotechnology. She has followed her passion for biosafety and genetic engineering by being involved in a project of the African Union New Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) called the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE). Stella wishes to be a role model for girls in her country and to give back by “creating a revolution in Mozambican agriculture through the use of methods and approaches used in biotechnology.” Stella realizes that challenging oneself is key to personal development and to influencing others in positive, lasting, and meaningful ways. She believes in one of Nelson Mandela’s maxims: ‘until I change myself, I cannot change others.’
Biography: Barbara completed her program in Economics in 2016. Barbara wants to give back to her community by working in the public health sector in Africa. She sees a need for loopholes and gaps to be filled in the health system, and she would like to bring her ideas to the table.
Biography: Mohamadou, graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering. He has been cultivating the idea of giving back to his community and believes that he can make an impact when he goes back to Africa. He said, "Being chosen as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar puts me on the path to create the next Silicon Valley somewhere in Africa."