“If you educate a girl you educate a whole nation”
For several years, different Nazareth School alumni groups on their own initiatives, sponsored capable students from economically disadvantaged background every year. Many students from such background have benefited from the generosity of NS alumni. Several of the scholarship recipients have become medical doctors and engineers working in Ethiopia, making contributions in their communities. This remind us of the famous African proverb “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation”.
Beginning in 2016, Nazareth School agreed to officially dedicate every year 10 slots for incoming students in 9th grade to be supported by Nazareth School (NS) Alumni scholarship program. The scholarship is to be given to incoming 9th grade students who exhibit strong academic performance and come from economically disadvantaged homes. Both of these requirements have to be met. To date, NS alumni supporters/participants in this program range from Class of 1971 to Class of 2004. Clearly, this is an opportunity for NS alumni to contribute to a life changing experience of young girls and their communities, in this rewarding initiative by ensuring it supports 10 capable students.
The process of selecting the students for the scholarship is rigorous and transparent. It begins with NS requesting authorities from different school districts within Addis Abebe to identify top students from the government schools based on their class rank. A list of 40 to 60 students is usually received by NS. Also interesting to mention is that a similar program is also in place at St. Joseph, the brother school, and the process followed for selecting the students is similar. These students are contacted by NS and are invited to take a tough high school entrance exam that covers sections for all the main academic areas – English, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Math. Students with the top 12 to 15 high scores are invited to the school for an interview, which helps to screen and confirm that the students in fact come from economically disadvantaged background. The interviews are conducted by a committee comprised of NS Director, representatives from the school administration and alumni.
Increasing number of alumni groups have been participating in this scholarship program since the programe officially began with 10 reserved slots every year. For this academic year -2019/2020, Nazareth School Alumni from Classes of 1974, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2005, and 2004 participated.
The scholarship program is flexible. Alumni sponsoring a student one year (which means for 4 years through high school) are not expected to participate every year with new sponsorship. For example, the Class of 1978 has been sponsoring students since September 2010. Some years, this alumni group sponsors 2 students and other years it sponsors one student, depending on resource mobilized. It is encouraged that once the decision is made to sponsor a student, funds required for that student for the entire 4 years of high school must be mobilized upfront. This way, the student will be ensured to complete all 4 years at Nazareth School successfully with no financial constraints. In addition, the program is flexible in that an alumni can participate individually, or with other alumni friends, or friends and family. It is truly a rewarding program, where you will clearly see your contribution to one’s life, family, and eventually the community.
If interested to participate in sponsoring a student, please contact Sister Violet Makokha, Director of Nazareth School (email@example.com) or Helen Tedla Teshome, alumni (HelenTTeshome@yahoo.com) to include you in the alumni list so that you can be contacted during solicitation of interest in May/June every year.