The GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program
The GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program began in 1987 in Mexico and now supports outstanding students in higher education in fourteen countries around the world. The program initially provided traditional financial support for university education, but has developed into an exciting Leadership Development Program to complement the student’s academic curriculum. The program creates opportunities for students to develop and realize their potential by providing them with practical training and leadership development.
The scholarship program has been tailored to meet the particular higher education needs and goals of each participating country. The specific fields of study, duration and amount of the scholarship are based on local conditions in each region. By funding study and encouraging community service in each home country, this program encourages the Scholar-Leaders to contribute to and raise the skill levels of the workforce in their country.
The program addresses several needs, including:
- Supporting students with financial need, so that they can complete their studies;
- Building the workforce of tomorrow (particularly in the sciences, engineering and management), by helping students and the institutions they attend;
- Developing leadership skills and fostering a commitment to the community through community service programs and leadership seminars;
- Demonstrating the GE Foundation’s commitment to helping develop the economies and societies of the communities in which it works; and
- Serving as a role model to other corporations and corporate foundations around the world in their support of education and community development.
With a few country exceptions, the program:
- Recruits first-year undergraduate students studying engineering or business/management
- Recruits students who have financial need or are underrepresented ethnically, geographically, or by gender.
- Provides substantial funding for the remaining 2 or 3 years of their undergraduate program (depending on the length of their program)
More than just a scholarship
The Scholar-Leaders program offers much more than financial support. Leadership, community involvement and global connections are fundamental to this scholarship program. Besides generous financial support, students will:
- Participate in an expenses-paid leadership development seminar in their local country program to develop networks and receive leadership and career development training. Their achievements will also be recognized in a separate awards ceremony or one held during the seminar
- Be mentored by a leader in GE’s management community in the form of a work-shadowing day with a GE employee or incorporated into the seminar where the students have the opportunity to interact with GE business leaders and gain insight into prospective careers and learn about the skills needed for these careers.
- Engage in community development or volunteer projects where they design and complete a community development project in the form of a volunteer project that is performed individually or as a group.