King Philanthropies is thrilled to launch a new podcast series, King Global Scholars on Air. The series shares the lives and unfiltered stories of exceptional Global Scholars committed to poverty alleviation around the world. From Yemen to Kenya to Rwanda to Tibet—the upcoming podcasts reveal these scholars’ journeys as they navigate the transition from their home countries to Dartmouth College and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Season One focuses on the powerful theme of community to transform and positively impact lives.
Beverly Watson, Director of the Global Scholars Program at King Philanthropies, conducts one-on-one interviews with the 12 first- year Global Scholars, as well as two Global Scholar Alums of Dartmouth College. Catch the King Global Scholars on Air series here. Two episodes will be released each week, starting on Friday, February 15th. The Season One Trailer can be heard here.
Stanford University recently hosted a terrific Engine of Impact event, featuring inspiring lessons from the high-impact nonprofit, Last Mile Health. On November 27th, Engine of Impact co-author and King Philanthropies President and CEO Kim Jonker and Last Mile Health cofounder and CEO Raj Panjabi took part in an exciting discussion on “Achieving Impact in the Social Sector”, co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Global Poverty Development and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and moderated by Laura Hattendorf of the Mulago Foundation.
To an audience comprised of students, (including visiting King Scholars from Dartmouth!) faculty, Stanford alumni, and social sector leaders, Panjabi shared his personal lessons of leadership and learnings so far at Last Mile Health. Lauding the importance of themes of “focus, focus, focus” in Engine of Impact’s Chapter 1, “The Primacy of Mission”, Panjabi stressed the importance of focus in a nonprofit’s activities (versus breadth and diversification). Panjabi shared that the early years of Last Mile Health looked very different from what the organization is today. Initially, Last Mile Health’s interventions were broad, including agriculture, sewing & more! But by honing in on a single concept – professionalizing community health workers – Last Mile Health has achieved massive impact. It was featured as an exemplary organization in Engine of Impact, cited for its current clear and focused mission. Last Mile Health was also featured in Engine of Impact for its impressive ability to scale.
Every recipient of a King Scholars award—either from Dartmouth College or the University of Wisconsin–Madison—has a powerful story to tell about the journey that has brought him or her to that institution. Consider Janel Consuelo Morales Perez, a young woman from the Philippines who will enter Dartmouth this fall as a King Scholar. Inquirer.net, a news site that serves people of Filipino descent around the world, profiles Perez in a recent article, “From Buting Elementary School to Ivy League.”
The article explores the inspirational influence that Perez’s mother, Cristina, has had on the young scholar, as well as Perez’s connection to Zholl Tablante, senior assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth, who is also from the Philippines. In addition, the piece covers Perez’s educational and professional goals—goals that align closely with the mission of the King Scholars initiative. “I want to focus on poverty alleviation through human capital development,” Perez says.
In his first semester at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Lusayo Mwakatika stands out by winning a campus speech contest.
By Steve Barcus
What does it take to deliver a strong persuasive speech?
The CA 100 Speech Contest is a long-standing tradition that occurs each semester. Teaching assistants from each of the CA 100 sections submit speeches from their top students to compete in the competition. The field is vast for the competition, especially considering that last fall more than 700 students were enrolled in CA 100. From the students selected to participate in the competition, six went to the final round, with Mwakatika receiving the top honors.
Mwakatika’s speech was a persuasive piece, encouraging his peers to join the BRIDGE (Building Relationships in Diverse Global Environments) program, coordinated by International Student Services. Hailing from Malawi, Mwakatika joined BRIDGE last fall as a way to meet fellow students, acclimate to campus and the U.S., and build friendships. It affords U.S students with those same opportunities to connect with Badgers from around the world.
However, soon after joining BRIDGE, Mwakatika noticed a need for more American student to take part in the program.
“When I was in BRIDGE, I frequently heard from international students about the need for more American students to join the program,” Mwakatika said. “Many international students have been put on a wait list to join because there aren’t enough American students in the program.”
Over the Thanksgiving break, participants in the King Scholar Leadership Program at Dartmouth College visited Bob and Dottie King at the Kings’ house in Maine. All of the King Scholars hail from non-US countries, and every year the Kings invite a group of them to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving. This year, more than a dozen scholars joined the Kings for a festive dinner with all of the trimmings.
Pictured here are 14 King Scholars (clockwise from the back left): Rafael Alves de Lima, Anela Arifi, Huong (Bryce) Nguyen, Tyler Neath, Sayuri Miyamoto, Carolyne Musyoka, John Mbugua, Patrick Iradukunda, Loveridge Bere, Gustavo de Almeida da Silva, Jonathan Bonilla Toledo, Akwasi Akosah, Abigail Cameron, and Louis Murerwa.
Not pictured are 6 other current participants in the program at Dartmouth: Emmanuel Akosah, Eric Iradukunda, Cherrie Kandie, Faith Rotich, Seerat Zahra, and Linford Zirangwa. Brief profiles of all 20 scholars are available here.
The Voice of American Learning English website has posted an article and an accompanying video segment that feature Faith Rotich, a junior at Dartmouth College who is studying there as a King Scholar. The article recounts Rotich’s journey from the town of Eldoret in Kenya to Hanover, New Hampshire, the college town that has become her home. When she arrived at Dartmouth in the fall of 2014, Rotich recalls, she was immediately inspired by her new surroundings: “I felt some kind of happiness, that I want to explore this place, I want to know what it’s like. Then later on … I met some wonderful students who immediately made me feel like I really belong here.”
Both the article and the video cover the adjustment challenges that international students often face when they begin studying at an American university. As Rotich notes, the critical thinking skills that students learn in their coursework may affect their attitudes toward the culture in which they grew up. But ultimately, she says in the video, students like her are able to integrate their new learning with what they learned in their home country: “We learn how to think about things the right way, and [do] not necessarily … ‘get lost.’”
Photograph courtesy of Voice of America.
Marc Sepama and Theo Wilson exemplify the promise of the King Scholar Leadership Program at Dartmouth.
By Charlotte Albright
When they marched onto the Green at Dartmouth College for the commencement ceremony on June 11, Marc Sepama, from Burkina Faso, and Theo Wilson, from Jamaica, became the first King Scholars to graduate from the college.
As undergraduates, Sepama and Wilson participated in the King Scholar Leadership Program, which Dottie and Bob King started in 2012. At commencement, both Kings received honorary degrees, as President Phil Hanlon noted at the ceremony, for their “compassion, generosity, and profound commitment to improving the quality of life in impoverished nations around the world.”
Sepama (shown in the photo below) and Wilson (shown in the photo above) say they are proud to be the first graduates of a program that prepares international students to fight global poverty. And they feel close to the couple who helped them come to Dartmouth.
The Kings, who have donated more than $35 million to the program, are international investors and partners in philanthropy. They often open their Menlo Park, Calif., home to the scholars in the program. “The Kings treat us like family,” Sepama says. “Having that personal connection to them—it’s very nice.”
“Marc and I share a love for music,” says Dottie King. “When he came over for Thanksgiving, I played Sinatra for him, one of my favorites.” King says she tries to be a mother to the King Scholars because they are far from home when they attend Dartmouth. Sepama and Wilson, she says, “are both wonderful. Sensitive, humble, and kind.”
They are also ambitious, says Bob King. “I’m so proud of them. The idea behind all this is to help them become future leaders—genuine leaders and innovators in their countries. They represent that promise.”
A new scholarship program jointly funded by Bob and Dottie King and John and Tashia Morgridge will sponsor its first cohort of students in the fall of 2017, according to an article posted by University of Wisconsin–Madison News. The program will enable students from developing countries to pursue a four-year undergraduate degree at UW–Madison. Six students per year will join the King-Morgridge Scholars Program, which aims to equip graduates to build careers in their home countries that will help to advance development and alleviate poverty.
Dottie King, as the article notes, has deep roots in Madison; she grew up there and attended the university in the 1950s. The Morgridges also have strong personal connections to the university. “I am thrilled that the King and Morgridge families chose to make this investment in international education at UW–Madison. This is a phenomenal opportunity for international students to explore solutions to major world problems alongside our domestic students,” says Rebecca Blank, chancellor of UW–Madison.
In an article published in 2012, Dartmouth News described a gift by Bob and Dottie King to create what is now called the King Scholar Leadership Program. The program provides chosen students from developing countries with full scholarships to pursue an undergraduate degree at Dartmouth.
In making the gift, the Kings worked with the college to design a program that would equip and encourage scholarship recipients to return to their home countries to pursue careers in poverty alleviation.
The article quoted Jim Yong Kim, who was then president of Dartmouth (and is now president of the World Bank): “With this gift, the Kings are investing in the fundamental connection between education and the ability of people and nations to take control of their own futures. … Dartmouth’s mission is to prepare graduates who will make a positive difference in the world, and I’m confident the King Scholars will embody that mission.”