The American University in Cairo (AUC) held a ceremony recently welcoming 54 new Egyptian students whose undergraduate education will be fully funded by United States Government scholarships as part of the Leadership for Education and Development (LEAD) scholarship program. Attending the event were Ambassador Anne W. Patterson; AUC President Lisa Anderson and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Egypt Mission Director Walter North. The event was also attended by various partner organizations, top performing students, alumni, and AUC faculty members and administrators.
“Young people like you have set this great nation on a new path toward democratic governance,” remarked Ambassador Patterson in the event’s keynote speech. “Educated, committed leaders are critical to the success of that journey. That is why your education is so important.”
“The program is designed to shape the next generation of Egypt’s leaders — smart, sophisticated, skilled men and women committed to civic engagement, social responsibility and global awareness,” noted Anderson in her welcome speech.
Jointly run by USAID and AUC, the LEAD program provides full scholarships to 54 exemplary students each year - one male and one female -- from each of Egypt’s 27 governorates - to pursue their studies at AUC. Through academic support, leadership development activities, and civic engagement opportunities, the program fosters professionalism, ethical conduct, and tolerance to empower the students to become globally competitive leaders.
According to Ibrahim Onsy, a new LEAD student from Marsa Matrouh who is planning to study Management of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), joining AUC is a significant opportunity to acquire a high quality education. “I have joined the Student Union’s IT committee as well as the Green Hands Club and looking forward to being the SU President at AUC,” said Onsy.
“AUC is the university with the most extra-curricular activities in Egypt, especially the community service clubs,” said Menna Khattab, a new LEAD architecture major from Alexandria. Khattab has always been keen on doing community service activities, and already joined Alashanek Ya Balady (AYB) and Green Hands. “I believe AUC will enhance my skills and develop my character,” she added.
Since 2004, the USAID-AUC LEAD program has provided scholarships to over 400 students. To date, 51 percent of LEAD graduates have been successful in gaining employment in major national and multinational organizations and local and international NGOs. An additional 10 percent of the LEAD graduates have received graduate scholarships from major institutions and are pursuing their graduate degrees in Egypt and abroad. Many actively contribute to their communities through voluntary endeavors in their home governorates.
AUC allocates 17 percent of its operating budget - $18 million annually - to provide deserving students with a wide range of scholarships and financial aid to assist them in with the costs of a university education.