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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Turning “One Day” Into Day One

Mar. 24 2015


Just a few short years ago, 115 students in Uganda dreamed about one day having the skills and opportunities to make a difference in their communities. As the first class of MasterCard Foundation Scholars at BRAC Uganda to finish their secondary education, their graduation marks day one in turning those dreams—and dreams of a better Uganda for all—into a reality.


Though they come from 40 different districts, this first class of Scholars have confronted a range of obstacles—from financial barriers to lack of learning materials to family pressures and expectations—common to so many Ugandan youth. They know that completing their education is key to surmounting poverty. With the support of BRAC, The MasterCard Foundation, and sheer determination, they were able to overcome those obstacles to see graduation day.

2014-BRAC-grad-pull-2 Armed with self-confidence, knowledge and skills to achieve their dreams they’re already planning their futures as doctors, lawyers, policymakers, engineers and more.


Beyond their own personal ambitions, for many Scholars, their greatest hope is to give back to their communities—in both big and small ways.


As we celebrate the graduation of 115 students taking the first steps in realizing their dreams, this is also a Day One for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at BRAC Uganda. These students are our first graduating class of secondary school Scholars. Over the next 10 years, we’re dedicating $500 million to educate 15,000 students across Sub Saharan Africa. Students whose goals and ambitions are deeply personal. Together, they’ll transform lives, communities and eventually, the continent.

Program estimates as of January 2015.

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University of Pretoria celebrates a new cohort of Scholars

Mar. 20 2015

MCF Scholars and Prof de la ReyThe University of Pretoria recently celebrated the enrolment of the 2015 cohort of Scholars from all over the African continent.  Professor Ana Naidoo, Deputy Director in the Department for Education Innovation,  inspired the students with words she had read during a visit to Freedom Park: “‘A dream is not a dream until shared by the entire community’. It is the communities the Scholars will go back to that will show us the success of the Program at UP.”

Read full story here.

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Passion and Purpose: Eyerusalem Assefa on what it takes to become a change-maker

Mar. 9 2015

Eyerusalem - FB LWThe MasterCard Foundation celebrates its partnership with FAWE Ethiopia, which will open the door for 800 promising secondary school students to pursue their studies.  Eyerusalem Assefa, a MasterCard Foundation Scholar from Ethiopia studying at Arizona State University, speaks directly to the first cohort of Scholars – how these bright young minds might become change-makers and remake their country’s future.

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