In Tanzania, sixteen-year-old Fauzia remembers her mother telling her when she was young that her father had passed away when she was a baby. Her mother did the best she could to take care of Fauzia and her two siblings with earnings from her small agricultural business growing maize, cassava, and rice. From these proceeds Fauzia and her sister were able to attend school.

Fauzia completed Standard Seven (Grade 7) in November 2011, but had to stay at home to help her mother with agricultural activities while she waited for the results of her Standard Seven exam results to be announced. Not only did Fauzia pass the exam. She did so well she was selected to join a secondary school to begin in January 2012. Yet when her mother took her to school to enroll, she discovered she was unable to pay for her daughter to stay in the dormitory where most of the students were staying. The fee—nearly 300,000ZMK ($60) per year—was too high. So Fauzia had to walk 3 kilometerse from her home to school and back every day, leaving her little time to do her homework or contribute to family chores.

Fauzia tells the story of how she learned about an exciting new opportunity. “In late February 2012, the Teacher Mentor at my school informed me of a program called Tanzania Youth Scholars (TYS) that would support my education costs. I was like ‘Oh God! What miracle is this?’ I felt very happy and relieved that my mother and I could receive help with my education.” The scholarship, a five-year initiative of the International Youth Foundation and USAID, covers school fees, hostel costs, academic books and supplies, pocket money, sanitary items as well as other contributions. Fauzia is now staying at the school dormitory where she has enough time to study with her fellow students. Last term’s examination ranked Fauzia 36th out of 186 students in her class.

As a result of receiving this scholarship, Fauzia is motivated and committed to excelling in her education. “I thank Tanzania Youth Scholars from the bottom of my heart because it has given me a great opportunity. I will take advantage of this opportunity to be a role model to my community and to the nation in general. I promise to work hard to fulfill my goal of becoming a nurse, if not a medical doctor, and I will finally be able to help the most vulnerable children in my community.”