How We Do It
We identify academically talented young leaders from Cambodia and Rwanda who have few opportunities, provide ACT and IELTS preparation and pair them with 5-6 American mentors who guide them in applying to college. After the students win a college scholarship, SHE-CAN funds all non-scholarship costs, and mentor teams provide emotional support to help the young women launch their careers to become leaders in their home countries.
SHE-CAN aims to find the best candidates with the strongest potential of succeeding, not just in a U.S. college, but as leaders in their home country and globally. Through a democratic application process, we work with local partner organizations (including the Imbuto Foundation, Women for Prosperity Cambodia, FAWE Rwanda), government agencies (such as the Ministries of Education in Cambodia and Rwanda) and local school counselors to identify high potential female students with top academic rankings. We push opportunities down the socioeconomic pyramid by targeting low-income girls, many of whom have been impacted by the atrocities committed in their country. All of the brave young women selected are passionate about becoming change agents in their home countries by challenging ingrained social, economic and gender standards.
Preparatory College Application Class
The selected candidates work with SHE-CAN teachers to prepare for the ACT and IELTS exams. These are intensive courses, and only those who show strong motivation and score well on ACT and IELTS exams are ultimately invited to be a part of the mentorship program.
Prior to beginning work with their mentors, the students sign a pledge in which they commit to furthering the development of their home country or working as a change-maker in a global capacity after graduating.
Our program interweaves college scholarships with a unique team-mentoring model which matches each scholar with 5-6 professionals in the U.S. Working alongside SHE-CAN staff, mentors help their mentee choose the right college for their ability and career goals, and assist them with essay writing, teacher recommendations and their application. SHE-CAN supports those candidates who are awarded a full scholarship by ensuring they get a proper visa, plane ticket, appropriate winter clothes and dorm supplies. SHE-CAN also helps scholars become acclimated to the U.S. through workshops and orientations. Many mentors invite scholars home for school breaks and visit periodically. Mentors also open up their extended networks to introduce their mentee to potential internships and job opportunities. Backed by extensive support and guidance, scholars are transformed into confident, vocal and empowered leaders. At the same time, strong bonds of solidarity emerge as mentors become invested in the outcome of their mentee’s country.