To meet the students, sign up for our mailing list and learn more ways to support this project visit our website: starlingsponsorshipprogram.org
I took a gap year before college ten years ago and taught English in a rural village in The Gambia. The poverty in the country and the village inspired me to create The Starling Sponsorship Program to help the best students in my class stay in school. My hope was that an education would help them and their families rise out of poverty. Last year, three of those students graduated from high school and contacted me to tell me that they wanted to continue their education and go to college in America. After a year of tedious work on all ends, I am excited to share that they were accepted into six schools and they chose the school that offered them the most scholarship: St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York. Now I am fundraising the rest of the money that the scholarship does not cover which is about $270,000 total for all three students for all four years.
For people who are so young, they understand that a good education is their most powerful tool. They have big post-college dreams that have been carefully thought out: Penda wants to become a nurse to help eradicate preventable diseases in your country; Awa wants to become the owner and manager of the largest Gambian hotel chain so that she can provide jobs for Gambians who are currently unemployed, especially women; and Adama wants to work in telecommunications so that he can bring free internet access to everyone in the Gambia, especially the poor.
Your involvement in this project can help make these students’ dreams come true. Visit our Get Involved page to learn ways to engage with this project that include non-monetary options. Or, you can donate right now!
- Debbie Gross
- Catherine Oyejide
- Landing Nyassi
Jackson Heights, NY