An important task during the summer was the selection of our second year of beneficiaries. How do we select the students, what are critical selection criteria and what was the best way to arouse attention to our call for applications?
The selection of a new batch of students for the academic year 2016/17 has come to an end on October 7 with the selection of twenty students. The selection process was rigorous and employed many mechanisms to pick the most deserving applicants. The selection mechanisms were based on prerequisites that were set out by PROJECT-E for prospective applicants. Some of the prerequisites that applicants had to fulfill were: being 18 years or older, having a 2.00 GPA or more in their high school exams, being from a low economic background and, most importantly, being female.
Although not all sub-cities and NGOs sent satisfying numbers of applicants; the ones that did, sent an adequate number of girls. Out of all the methods that were used, the posters seemed to be the most effective as many applicants reported that they had read about the scholarships on the streets.
Once the application deadline had expired a total of 74 applications had arrived at the Hospitality Institute. After the applications had been processed, an English exam was prepared and the students were notified of the exam date. Out of the 74 applicants 56 showed up and took the exam. Based on their exam results 50 were chosen for interviews.
After challenging interview sessions that lasted for three days, 28 students were again selected for home visits to assess their living conditions, economic status and social support. Once the home visits were done 20 girls were ultimately chosen to be the new students of PROJECT-E.
The students were notified of their acceptance via telephone and invited to a welcome and information ceremony with their parents or guardians in at the Hospitality Institute on October 7. During the ceremony, the students as well as the parents and guardians were given a briefing on PROJECT-E and introduced to the staff and second year students. After all comments and questions were addressed by the staff, agreement forms were presented and signed by the students as well as parents and guardians. Subsequently the new students were warmly welcomed into the PROJECT-E family. It is our hope that they become knowledgeable and fruitful during their two year stay here with PROJECT-E and we cannot wait to see them become confident and educated young women.
Written by Rediet Abebe.