The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides talented young people from economically disadvantaged communities, particularly in Africa, with access to quality and relevant education.


Throughout their education, Scholars receive comprehensive financial, academic, and social support, as well as opportunities for community service and internships.

  • Scholar Stories

    Two MasterCard Foundation Scholars tell us why attending high school has given them a chance to pursue their dreams.

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    Benefits of Secondary Education

    Secondary education is critical for young people - and their communities - to reach their full potential.

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Scholar Eyerusalem Assefa reflects how passion and determination are key to becoming an agent of change.

Oct. 30 2014

EyerusalemI traveled to New York recently to attend The MasterCard Foundation annual Partner Dinner, where I met eight other MasterCard Foundation Scholars attending university in North or Central America.  While in New York, we participated in a full day bootcamp designed to enhance the entrepreneurial and leadership skills we are learning on campus.

One of my highlights was the inspiration I got from listening to stories of young people who are working hard to change their world.  The truly determined, powerful and smart young Scholars from different countries were a manifestation of the power that young people have in bringing a glimpse of hope to this world.  The highly intellectual conversations, the heated debates about contemporary issues that the world is facing, and the sharing of our hope for the future were enlightening.

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Transformative Leadership: built on integrity, driven by self-awareness and sense of purpose

Oct. 27 2014

Cover-702x1024 Womens TLThe goal of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is to create a cohort of next-generation leaders who are committed to creating social change and economic growth in their home communities.  The Program is designed to foster transformative leadership by equipping Scholars with the knowledge, tools, capacity and motivation to make a difference.   But what is transformative leadership?  And how are young leaders – particularly women – being trained and supported on the continent?

In order to understand what transformative leadership means to the Scholars and how their leadership capacities can best be supported, the Foundation and several of its institutional partners commissioned a scan of women’s transformative leadership in Africa.

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MasterCard Foundation Scholar, Juan Bol, describes how his passion for giving back was inspired by new connections.

Oct. 20 2014

Juan BolEvery year, The MasterCard Foundation hosts a Partner Dinner in New York City.  The event gathers the Foundation partners, Scholars, Board of Directors and the Foundation team as an opportunity to share moments and inspire one another.

This year I was fortunate to be selected to represent The MasterCard Foundation Scholars of EARTH University, along with eight other students from the continent of Africa who are currently studying in the US and Canada. We participated in an eight-hour intensive leadership and entrepreneurial bootcamp.

The bootcamp was the hub of the entire event, where we had the opportunity to meet and have a casual discussion with the bootcamp leader,  Miki Agrawal – a social entrepreneur and author - along with three other entrepreneurs.

Unbelievable projects and unending ideas were shared by intelligent young students from Africa, such as the founding of Tilwalte School in Mali that provides educational opportunities for young girls, among others.

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