Yale University and Higherlife Foundation extend partnership to mentor African high school student leaders

Yale University and the Higherlife Foundation have announced a commitment to extend the Yale Young African Scholars program for another five years.
Yale President Peter Salovey with Strive Masiyiwa and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, co-founders of the Higherlife Foundation.

Yale President Peter Salovey (left) with Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean-born philanthropists and co-founders of Higherlife Foundation.

Yale University and the Higherlife Foundation have announced a commitment to extend the Yale Young African Scholars program (YYAS) for another five years, a move made possible through the continuing generosity of Zimbabwean-born philanthropists Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, co-founders of the foundation.

Building on the success of Yale’s initial three-year partnership with the Higherlife Foundation, this next phase will see an even greater and sustained commitment by the Higherlife Foundation to further YYAS’s goal of training and mentoring the next generation of African high school student leaders. Thanks to such support, over the next five years YYAS will continue offering a free academic and enrichment program that helps high-achieving, low-income African youth prepare themselves for college and university.

I am so thankful for the visionary support that Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa provide through the Higherlife Foundation to make the Yale Young African Scholars Program possible,” said Yale University President Professor Peter Salovey. “YYAS already has educated and mentored hundreds of students who will shape Africa and the world in the years ahead, and I have no doubt the program’s influence will continue to grow.”

Strive and I are excited to confirm that we intend to support YYAS for another five years and continue developing a truly unique leadership program and academic experience for some of the brightest young minds on the continent,” said Tsitsi Masiyiwa, co-chair of the Higherlife Foundation. “Through the YYAS experience and our shared commitment with Yale, I believe we have an exceptional opportunity to build a formidable education pipeline for Africa’s emerging student leaders.”

Recent participants of the 2017 Yale Young African Scholars program conducted in Ghana.
Recent participants of the 2017 Yale Young African Scholars program conducted in Ghana.

By the end of summer 2018, the Higherlife Foundation already will have supported 900 African high school students to attend YYAS. In addition to learning from Yale faculty, students, and staff during the summer sessions, YYAS participants become part of a robust mentorship network in which they are paired with local partner organizations, which help advise them throughout the university application process. A signature program of the Yale Africa Initiative, YYAS is modeled on and administered by the Yale Young Global Scholars program.

The Higherlife Foundation was founded by the Masiyiwas to promote basic education among thousands of disadvantaged children and to support youth talent development by offering scholarships to gifted students across Southern Africa. For more information, contact african.scholars@yale.edu or visit the Yale Young African Scholars website. Also, follow YYAS on  Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all future program news and announcements.


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Part of the In Focus Collection: Yale and Africa: Empowering through partnership

Media Contact

Adam Gaber: adam.gaber@yale.edu, 203-436-5449