USAID, Amideast to celebrate graduation of scholarship recipients

On Sunday, October 31, 267 young men and women will celebrate their graduation from the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative Public University Scholarships program, which is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, and implemented by Amideast, with additional funding for 10 visually impaired students from the Housing and Development Bank.

Students completed their undergraduate degrees this year and last year (when no graduation ceremony was held due to Covid-19), in the special programs at five universities: Ain Shams, Alexandria, Assiut, Cairo, and Mansoura Universities. The scholarship promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities, and 5% of graduating students have a disability.

Held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Great Conference Hall, the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative Public University Scholarships graduation ceremony will include remarks by the president of Alexandria University Dr. Abdel Aziz Konsowa, mission director at USAID/Egypt, and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education. Speeches are then followed by HEI’s partner remarks, delivered by Gihan Hafez, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Housing and Development Bank who funded 10 scholars and followed by John Gameel, Managing Director at One Point Holding who worked closely with our scholars through activities. Three students will speak about how this opportunity has impacted their lives. All students will receive graduation certificates and recognition for their accomplishments.

This scholarship program is one component of the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, a USAID-funded investment in Egypt’s future that provides educational opportunities for talented, young Egyptians — women and men from underserved communities in rural and urban areas — to learn skills that will prepare them to meet the needs of the 21st century labor market. Since 2015, a total of 673 students from all 27 governorates have been awarded U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative Public University Scholarships. Within 12 months of the first group’s graduation, 76% were employed.

All graduating scholars completed community service projects across Egypt, and some developed their own community service initiatives. Students improved their English through classes with Amideast and independent study. They attended trainings to develop their workplace skills and ability to get a job. They also connected with actual employers to receive mentoring, have mock interviews, and complete internships. Further, 45% of the scholars studied abroad for one semester in the United States.