THE United States (US) embassy in Zimbabwe has awarded a Binga girl, Chiza Ngachize Mwinde, a full scholarship to study at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts for the next four years after excelling in the 2013 ‘O’ Level examinations.
Mwinde is expected to leave the country for Massachusetts in August.
According to a statement by the embassy, Mwinde (18)’s scholarship is worth $61 000 per year for four years to study at the top women’s college.
Smith College was founded at a time when there were practically no choices for women who wanted an education equal to that available to men in 1871 and opened its doors in 1875.
Smith College is among the largest women’s colleges in the US with students from every state and 60 countries. It is an independent, non-denominational college that remains strongly committed to the education of women at the undergraduate level, but also admits both men and women as postgraduate students.
“After receiving exceptional passes in her ‘O’ Levels, she participated in the US Achievers Programme (USAP), an initiative of the US Embassy Education Advising Centre designed to assist academically gifted but economically disadvantaged students,” the statement read.
“Receiving a full scholarship to study in the US has driven Mwinde in search of ways to restore the dignity of her community in Binga where the shortage of qualified teaching personnel and inadequate learning facilities is affecting the academic progress of students.”
The statement also said Mwinde, a former Guinea Fowl High School pupil, was part of the cast during the Careers’ Fair held at Binga Government High School on February 28 where she outlined how students in the remote town of Matabeleland North could emulate her feat.
“It is very hard for students in Binga to know, let alone, get such opportunities because of our geographic location which is far away from the big cities and because of the fact that most of our parents never got the exposure beyond what is happening in Binga,” Mwinde said.
“This careers fair is a good start. After my studies in the US, I would like to come back and start a programme modelled along the US Achievers Programme where we will work intensively with young students that show potential so they can access scholarships, good colleges and universities and more networking opportunities,” she said.
USAP also identifies just over 30 ‘A’ Level students each year and assists them negotiate the application and scholarship process to top universities and colleges in the US.