Usap Students: The Background
Introduction from Usap South Africa
Mpophomeni High School: Large classes, no library, no internet access, no fancy sports fields. This is the kind of school many of our Usap applicants come from. Yet, as Usap 2008 participant Sithembile Cele wrote: "Though they are small, the bright stars light up the darkness of the night." Our USAP students are the "bright stars" of their schools and of our advising centers!
Usap South Africa was initiated in 2006 and has had a growing number of applicants each year. Although still very much in the early phase of its development and small in size, the success of our applicants thus far speaks for itself. Due to inadequate high school advising regarding career planning and the local university application process (which is primarily due to limited funding), and severely strained university funds, many of these bright stars can not afford to attend local universities. That is the situation of Ms. Cele: She was first in her school academically. She received 100% on her Maths Matric exam receiving 5 A's and 1 B for Matric. Yet she did not receive any funding to attend the Chemical Engineering Program at a South African university. Her family's limited income of approximately $4,500 barely is enough to put food on their table, let alone pay university fees.
Usap South Africa aims to work with students such as Ms. Cele; to help them aim high, strive to pursue possible educational opportunities in the US, and then return to South Africa to enrich their communities and share the knowledge and skills gained in the U.S. Apartheid sought to limit access to a good education for the majority of South Africans; USAP is one means of addressing and overcoming that legacy.
Story from Usap South Africa
We currently have four students from South Africa in the U.S. Of the six students we worked with this year, three have been accepted: one with a full scholarship by Harvard University, one with a full scholarship from St. Lawrence University, and one with a three-quarter scholarship from Sara Lawrence College. Please learn more about our students who have made it to the United States.