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: Undecided
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: Undecided
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: Undecided
Ropafadzo Beverly Shava is interested in the applications of computer science in medicine. As a Makomborero Zimbabwe (http://www.makomborero.info/) 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 (https://www.globalgiving.org/pfil/32723/projdoc.pdf) 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 and Sciences
Honors: Mastercard Entrepreneurship competition winner
Adhel is a sophomore majoring in Media Arts and Sciences with a potential 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 & EALC-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: https://www.shecan.global/noella-ingabire.html
Josephine Awino Odhiambo '22 (Kenya), Major: Environmental Studies
Awino is currently a sophomore. 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
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.
Class of 2021
Shukri Ahmed Ali ’21 (Somaliland), Major: Economics
Shukri Ahmed Ali ’21 hopes to become the first Somali woman to participate in a Mars Mission and landing. Shukri, who was born in Hargeisa, 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. Learn more about Shukri: https://thetab.com/us/2017/06/12/shukri-ali-69560
Priscilla Oluwakemi Badusi ’21 (Nigeria), Major: Chemistry
A chemistry major at Wellesley College, Oluwakemi Badusi is preparing for a career in biomedical research. After her first year at Wellesley, she returned to Nigeria to learn how to provide advanced care in resource-scarce settings and build sustainable health systems. Her work led to her selection for the year-long Sophomore Early Research Program where she collaborated with science faculty at Wellesley and later completed summer research to find new treatment therapies to mitigate against global resistance to antibiotics. Oluwakemi is a grader for the Mathematics Department, a tutor for the Chemistry Department, and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the international student center. For three years, she has volunteered with EducationUSA (a program of the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section in Nigeria) and co-facilitated study-abroad outreach programs for high school graduates. Oluwakemi is a dedicated and compassionate leader, working to advance healthcare for those most in need.
Irene Ingabire ’21 (Rwanda), Major: Physics
From Rwanda, Irene credits her late mother’s example with instilling in her a passion for learning and achieving a post secondary degree. Irene is a Physics major and a firm believer in life-long learning. She has a creative thoughtful manner and eagerness to learn, coupled with the zeal to discover and pursue her academic and career interests.
Yeukai Songore ’21, Major:
Class of 2020
Dagmawit Libanos Assefa ’20 (Ethiopia), Major: Computer Science Minor: Physics
Dagmawit is a senior majoring in Computer Science and interdisciplinary Physics and Economics study. She worked as a data analysis and visualization intern at Afyakit, a start-up company that utilizes the power of data to improve the accessibility and quality of health services in Kenya. On-campus, Dagmawit works as a peer tutor and grader for the Physics, Computer Science and Math departments. She is currently the vice president of Wellesley African Students Association (WASA). Dagmawit is passionate about the accessibility of science education in developing countries, especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa and she plans to work in the education sector. Learn more about Dagmawit: http://cs.wellesley.edu/~dassefa/
Nomaqhawe “Gwen” Ncube ’20 (Zimbabwe), Major:
Christine Oginga ’20 (Kenya), Major: Africana Studies
Learn more about Christine: https://www.wellesley.edu/albright/albright/fellowship/fellows/tine-oginga
Sandra Amponsah Ohemeng ’20 (Ghana), Major: Economics
Sandra is a Ghanaian and a senior studying Economics at Wellesley. To help eradicate structural poverty and teenage pregnancy in her hometown Agogo, she is setting up a vocational training center to equip young mothers and school dropouts with ‘employable’ skills in fashion design. Sandra is a Future Global Leaders Fellow (FGL fellows are the world’s top first-generation university students and are primed for induction into the Fortis Society), a fellow at the Albright Institute (designed to inspire the new generation of global leaders), a Yale Young African Scholar, and a Mastercard Foundation Scholar. In the past, she has worked as an Economic Research Intern at JMK Consulting LLC-Ghana and as a Marketing Intern at MTN-Liberia. In summer 2019, Sandra interned as an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google's headquarters. Sandra has a strong interest in marketing and she is also very passionate about women empowerment.