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College education is considered key to achieving economic success and social mobility in our present economy. Unfortunately majority of Maasai girls do not transition to college. For girls of the Maasai community, the dream of a college education and subsequent employment is even further out of reach. The root causes of this problem are lack of family support regarding education, lack of information & IT skills, high poverty rates and low quality education in their regions.
Maasai youth are stuck in a transformational period—living with parents who want them to have a traditional lifestyle, and youth who want education. As result these young adults are left without guidance when it comes to these important decisions. Another major problem facing Maasai high school graduate is they lack specific types of “college knowledge”. This situation is further compounded by the lack of access to the internet and computer skills which are important tools for exploring college opportunities and succeeding in college. Lack of IT skills limits the student’s abilities to research various academic and career possibilities.
As a result they succumb to doubts about their academic and motivational abilities; they may think they are not college material. Overcoming these personal challenges is crucial to successful enrollment and completion of college. Mystified by the lack of information and inhibited by costs, Maasai youth succumb to hopelessness.
Selenkei Center is designed to offer Maasai girls at risk of being married off immediately after high school or who are at risk of not continuing to college with a series of interventions that seek to: build skills, facilitate appropriate career choices, provide employment information, and bridge technical and university education opportunities. The project is intended to achieve the following objective:
- To increase the # of Maasai girls enrolled in college programs leading to careers in computer science and STEM
- To narrow the digital divide and gap in college attendance for the disadvantage girls by providing intensive hands-on- information technology training
- To disseminate information that promotes college readiness, admission requirements, and raise awareness of the resources and services available to students, their families, and communities
- To provide individualized counseling to girls and the families of students served