The MasterCard Foundation and EARTH University in Costa Rica have announced a seven-year, $19.5 million partnership to provide educational opportunities to young people from disadvantaged communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The partnership will offer scholarships to one hundred and twenty students at the nonprofit university, which offers an innovative four-year program in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and community development. Part of the foundation's Youth Learning Program, the initiative is designed to enable young people in developing countries and regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, to make successful transitions to the workforce.
While in school, MasterCard Foundation Scholars will be engaged in a culture of philanthropy and voluntarism and encouraged to transition from being beneficiaries to active contributors in their communities. The program also will integrate mentoring, career counseling, service learning opportunities, and internships. Following successful completion of the university's four-year program, students will return to their countries to be part of a cohort of new leaders committed to transforming the agricultural sector and contributing to sustainable livelihoods.
"This scholarship program offers young people the opportunity to be part of EARTH's extraordinary learning environment," said Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation. "They will become leaders who will make significant contributions to agricultural and economic initiatives in their countries."