Yale Young African Scholars

The Yale Young African Scholars program is a 6-day educational experience for outstanding high school students who have the “talent, drive, energy, and ideas to make meaningful impacts as young leaders.” Only 50 students were selected to attend each of the two sessions in Rwanda and in Zimbabwe.

Our very own Swedi and Ismail were selected to participate in this program, and we are so proud we could burst!

Swedi will be studying in Kigali, Rwanda from August 11th to August 16th, and Ismail will be studying in Harare, Zimbabwe from August 20th to August 25th.

We asked longtime TCF friend and family member, Pooh Gephart, to reminisce about Swedi and Ismail when they were young:


“Swedi had a mind of his own and didn’t hesitate to think out of the box, whether it was painting his bed and new fleece with nail polish he ‘borrowed’ from Mama India or creating toys which he would quietly play with for hours off to the side while he observed what was going on around him. Yale promotes that kind of thinking—and he is perfect for the program!

Ismail showed another side of the ‘typical’ Yale student as someone who was always full of life and didn’t hesitate to show his leadership skills. Strong and determined, he told me on a safari at the crater when he was 5 that he was going to be a safari leader and even then knew an incredible amount about the animals.”