In 2009, only three of Farther Foundation’s sixteen scholarship winners were boys. For us, this was a phenomenon due to application quantity not quality. We simply did not receive anywhere near the number of applications from boys that we did from girls. This disparity in applications between the genders mirrors my previous experience administering scholarship programs for college tuition and high school enrichment programs. We have also heard from educational travel providers that many of them see the same imbalance in applicants to their programs.
At Farther Foundation, we evaluate each scholarship application on its own merits and grant no special consideration according to gender, race or ethnicity. We are pleased however, when at the end of a program year, we can look back and see that we supported a diverse group of students to participate in a wide array of programs.
We are pleased therefore that the first two applications approved by Farther Foundation in 2010 were from boys. Andrew will travel to Uganda to explore that African culture while participating in service projects, and Justice will study paleontology and participate in an actual dig in South Dakota. In their applications, Andrew said, “I have heard a lot about Africa – that it is the beginning of great civilizations, and, at the same time, I have heard that it is a place of great chaos and poverty. I don’t want to just hear what others say about Africa – I want to go and visit myself.”, and Justice said, “I chose this program because I want to learn everything it takes to be in the field. I like discussing things about different cultures and other times in history. When I hold evidence of those things, it feels like I’m making a difference.”
Andrew and Justice will be following in the footsteps of the three fine young men who traveled the world last year and immersed themselves in unique experiences with Farther Foundation scholarships. Lawrence, who journeyed to Ghana last year described his experience this way:
“Ghanaians don’t have what I have, but they never give up and work really hard to get very little. I felt compelled to give up certain things, so I donated my clothes, shoes, and toiletries because I realized that I am more fortunate than I thought. I have grown as a person and as an African-American man. Coming back to Chicago made me appreciate everything that I have now and stop complaining about things I don’t have. Now using my education to help the truly poor in Africa is my ultimate goal. Because of this journey, I want to give back and be part of something bigger than myself and one day help others go farther.”