A total of 505 top performing students from 225 secondary schools across all the 47 counties have been admitted into the 26th cohort of the Equity Leaders Program (ELP).

In the cohort, Equity Group Foundation (EGF) picked the best students in the 2023 KCSE exam, Wings to Fly program and Elimu scholarship beneficiaries after a two-week induction.

104 were selected from Wings to Fly, 186 were Elimu Scholars who scored A and A minus, while the remaining 215 were top national and sub-county schools tudents who scored A.

The selected students got a chance to mingle with various industry leaders, including those from Equity Group, who covered various critical topics to ensure they are well-rounded.

Equity Leaders Program is a flagship initiative under Equity Group Foundation’s Education and Leadership Development pillar and aims to empower academically gifted young people.

The programme is currently active in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC with the aim of exposing promising scholars to intensive initiatives offering mentorship and leadership.

ELP was established in 1998 to develop leadership qualities in top performers in academic with the robust program designed to boost their personal and professional development.

The selected students will undertake a six-month paid internship at Equity Bank branches across Kenya and get monthly stipends totaling Sh121.2 million by the end of the internship.

Equity says part of the monthly stipend due to the scholars will be saved and disbursed to them when they are joining university to accord them smooth transition from secondary.

The internships offered across various departments is designed to impart practical experience and mentorship and will continue throughout their studies in university.

Dr James Mwangi, who is the Equity Group Holdings MD and CEO, and Executive Chairman of EGF, urged the students to leverage their academic prowess to push for positive change.

“You are embarking on a shared journey with other talented Kenyans in your age group. This network will prove to be your greatest asset in your career and your life, as it will produce future captains of industry, business leaders, public servants, and leaders in other sectors,” said Dr Mwangi.

Since it was started, the program has benefited 23,825 scholars from local and foreign universities, with 8,878 from Kenya, Uganda, DRC and Rwanda receiving paid internships.

891 scholars have gotten full scholarships at 199 prestigious universities in 36 countries including Ivy League universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Cornell in the US.