Fifty Nigerians have been awarded scholarships to write the pre-requisite standardised test for qualification to undertake post-graduate studies in Europe, America and Asia.
The 50 luck beneficiaries were among 850 Nigerians who applied for the scholarship organised by a U.S.-based charitable organisation, i-Scholar Initiative (iSI).
They are to get full funding to undertake the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
The sponsorship also covers a predetermined number of application fees and end-to-end mentorship support through peer-peer mentoring, webinars and workshops.
Speaking during the online onboarding session for the 2020/2021 beneficiaries, a member of the iSI Board of Trustees (BoT), Prof. Idowu Olayinka, noted that the initiative was to assist many Nigerians who wanted to further their education abroad.
Olayinka, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, added that the initiative was to lessen the financial burden on the aspirants and also provide the right mentorship for them as they proceed.
“Unfortunately, for many of our compatriots, the desire to further their education is often hampered by lack of funding and inadequate information on the application procedure.
“It is in this regard that i-Scholar Initiative has come to the rescue with its intervention to inspire the graduates over the last three years to pursue their ambitions,” he said.
He added that many of the past beneficiaries from the batch of 2019 were already in various fully funded graduate programmes in the USA and around the world with funding in excess of 2 million dollars.
Olayinka added that between 2019 and 2020, a total of 70 Nigerians were supported with over 27,000 dollars invested in addition to mentorship, adding that the scope of support increased further in 2021 to include payment of application fees in addition to the traditional GRE and TOEFL.
For the iSI President, Victor Ogunmola, he said that the initiative, since 2019, has provided continuous mentoring and career coaching, career progress tracking through college and post-college, as well as networking opportunities for scholars.
He added that the project forms part of the initiative’s drive to build a younger and self-driven generation for future leadership, innovation and the overall development of Africa.
“We are doing this for the next generation of leaders. We want to do more. We want to offer full scholarships, we want to sponsor visa fees, flight tickets and tuition,” he said.
The Chairperson of iSI Board of Trustees (BoT), Tolulope Ewherido, charged the beneficiaries to be role models for the coming generation of young people, charging them to pay it forward.
Ewherido thanked sponsors and volunteers whose activities and support have continued to yield results since 2019 when the organisation started offerin scholarship to Nigerians.
For a beneficiary of the sponsorship, Joy Amadi, a First-class Graduate of Chemistry from the Federal University Lokoja, she expressed gratitude for being selected.
“I am grateful for the selection. It is a big win for me and I am so motivated. This will help me become a scientist and help me contribute my quota to the development of the country,” She said. (NAN)