On the afternoon of Sunday, February 17th, Hamadou Toure, local partner of Caravan to Class, and I met with the five recipients of the “Bourse Jackie” Scholarship in the courtyard of my B&B. The five women were selected by ranking the highest on our scoring system, which included their school grades, a writing sample, and a test we administered. It was important for us to have an objective determination of the final recipients so as to completely rule out any favoritism. The initial applicant pool was roughly 50 young women, and we administered an exam to the 12 finalists. The average score of the 12 twelve finalists was 70.2, with the lowest at 47.1 and the highest at 98. The average score of the 5 scholarship recipients was 81.2.
I was very impressed with all five of the Bourse Jackie recipients, and with two of them in particular. As they warmed up, the level of engagement was very high and their enthusiasm, motivation, and intelligence definitely made a strong impression on me. Our process seems to have chosen the perfect recipients.