Ifenna, an indigene of Nnewi, Anambra state was among the brightest at Christ way Secondary school in 2010. However, the graduate of Chemical Engineering would have been an apprentice due to lack of funds. He lost his first admission to study Geology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and had to reapply for Chemical Engineering. The kind gesture of the then Vice-Chancellor on payment flexibility made him scale through his first year. However, in his second year, there was a setback due to the demise of the breadwinner in his family.
With the determination to succeed, Ifenna applied for the MTN Foundation Scholarship. Recalling the day of the exams, Ifenna said he was nervous as some students whispered that only students studying telecommunication and electrical courses will be selected. However, the remark by the coordinator “Everyone buys recharge card” calmed his nerves.
“On the day I got the mail informing me of my selection, I called my mum who screamed in excitement. The scholarship is an answered prayer as I was saved by MTN. “I was not only studying, but I was also studying to be successful. The disbursement, which was timely benefited not just me but everyone around me. I had some textbooks and I lent others so it was a motivation. My only task was to ensure I maintained my CPGA all through. Thank you MTN” he quipped.
Apart from the scholarship, MTN also prepared the students for the labour market at an employability programme. The MTN foundation awards annual scholarships worth N200, 000 to eligible students in science-related disciplines and blind students studying any discipline under its Science and Technological scholarship scheme (STSS) and Scholarship scheme for the Blind Students (SBSS) respectively. The students under both schemes are from public universities, colleges of Education and polytechnics across Nigeria. In addition, students on either scheme who maintain the required grades would have their scholarships renewed annually until they graduate.
The Graduates are further trained on employability skills to ensure that they are better equipped for the realities of the Labour market.