Our mission is to prepare the next generation to live extraordinary lives as entrepreneurial servant leaders modeled after Jesus. Bridge2Rwanda Scholars offers a rigorous program in Kigali that prepares Rwanda’s most talented and promising students to compete for international scholarships at universities in the U.S. and around the world.
For our gap-year program, Bridge2Rwanda works with Rwanda’s top high schools and the Ministry of Education to identify the nation’s top performing students from each year’s class of over 25,000 graduating seniors. Applicants are required to provide recommendations and academic records from their secondary school, national exam results, an English proficiency test and a written essay. Selected students are then invited for personal interviews. Our selection criterion looks for the following:
- Excellent academic record and proven work ethic
- Exceptional leadership skills and a desire to serve
- Ability to articulate clear vision for their future and future of their country
- Outstanding recommendations from secondary school
- Good English skills – minimum of 500 on pre-TOEFL test
- Involvement in extracurricular activities
Our gap-year program prepares students in five primary areas:
- Academic Preparation: Intensive classes focus on SAT and TOEFL preparation; strengthen English language, reading and writing skills; and improve overall academic skills for college.
- Spiritual Development: Activities promote spiritual development – including Bible studies, group activities, individual discipleship and learning to live a life of purpose and meaning.
- College Counseling: Individual tutoring and guidance help each student navigate the U.S. college application process.
- Servant Leadership and Entrepreneurship Training: Curriculum, activities and internships develop leadership skills, create an entrepreneurial mindset and strengthen character for life challenges.
- Community Service: Student-initiated projects teach Scholars the value of serving.
We were pleased with the results of our inaugural class of 2011 B2R Scholars:
- Median TOEFL: 593 (all above 550 minimum required by most U.S. universities)
- Median SAT: 1610 (U.S. average is 1500)
- Fifteen students awarded scholarships with a total value of more than $2 million over 4 years
- Universities include Abilene Christian University, California Baptist University, Grinnell College, Haverford College, La Roche College, London School of Commerce (UK), Northwestern University, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, Université de Franche-Comté (France), University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester
Host Families –Our strategy is to equip each B2R Scholar to become a “bridge to Rwanda” for the lifelong friends they make within the academic, church and business communities where they study. To launch and expand their support network, we connect each of our students with a number of local U.S. host families and churches. The role of host families is to welcome students into their homes during school breaks and to create opportunities for them to experience what it means to be a follower of Jesus in America. Host families also provide and help raise financial support for their Scholars. For our inaugural class, host families have already committed over $200,000 of private financial support over four years.
Our ultimate goal is to prepare entrepreneurial leaders to serve in Rwanda – with a heart like Jesus and equipped to compete in the global marketplace. With this end in mind, we help our B2R Scholars plan their academic and professional careers with an eye on the African marketplace and a focus on understanding their God-given talents and discovering their divine calling. We support our B2R Scholars by assisting them obtain practical internships with U.S. companies and by helping them evaluate their options for entering graduate school or the workforce after they earn their undergraduate degree. When their U.S. education and training are complete, we connect them with entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs at the best companies in Rwanda. Bridge2Rwanda is an active participant in Rwanda’s private sector as a creator of jobs and new businesses and a provider of training and business services to Rwandan companies, government agencies and nonprofits. See Creating Jobs and Businesses.