July 2010—In the spring and summer of 2010, the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program awarded more than 80 grants to extraordinary students from underrepresented backgrounds and communities in countries across Europe, Latin America, Asia and North America. The program, which began in 1987 in Mexico, now supports outstanding students in higher education in fourteen countries around the world.
The GE Foundation and IIE recently hosted award ceremonies in Prague, Warsaw and Bucharest for the new winners in the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania. This is the seventh year of the program in Poland, the sixth year in the Czech Republic, and the fourth year in Romania. In each country, the award includes 3.000 Euros, participation in a Leadership Development Program together with fellow winners from other countries in the region, a shadowing opportunity with GE in the winners’ respective countries, and community service.
Various GE executives, U.S. embassy and Fulbright Commission officials, and leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce in each city attended the ceremonies to honor the winners and celebrate the long-running success of the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program. The program initially provided traditional financial support for university education, but has developed into a dynamic leadership training program that is designed to complement bright young leaders’ academic curriculum and tailored to meet the particular higher education needs and goals of each participating country. Specific fields of study, duration and scholarship amounts are devised based on local conditions in each region.
The Europe Regional Leadership Development Program took place in Budapest from July 5 – 9. This year 57 talented students from four countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania) participated in the seminar, which covered areas such as leadership skills and teamwork, community volunteerism and career development. The seminar included sessions led by top GE managers for Central Europe and concluded with a teambuilding activity outside of Budapest, where students had a chance to get to know each other better and thus form a regional network of future leaders.
A two-day Leadership Development Program was also arranged in Brazil for the ten new GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program grantees from Campinas, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Carlos and Sao Paulo in early July. The young leaders traveled to Fazenda Vale Encantado to participate in leadership and team-building activities organized by Outward Bound in Brazil. On the second day of the seminar, the Brazilian grantees attended a full-day leadership conference led by General Electric executives in Sao Paulo.
Similarly, an award ceremony and Leadership Development Program was held in Jakarta from July 16 - 19 to offer congratulations to ten selected grantees from eight participating universities in Indonesia. Top officials from GE Indonesia gave presentations during the training, which focused on issues related to leadership development and management.
The GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program in Canada will host another Leadership Development Program from August 23 - 26 at the GE Canada office in Mississauga, Ontario, where ten selected grantees will participate in an award ceremony, career development workshops, team-building exercises, leadership skills enhancement and volunteer work. This seminar incorporates valuable opportunities to network with GE managers, experts in the students' fields of study and program alumni.
About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation is the philanthropic organization of GE. For over 50 years, it has invested in programs based on a fundamental premise: a quality education ushers in a lifetime of opportunity, which helps build a strong and diverse workforce and citizenry. The need for a quality education has never been more urgent, especially for individuals from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds. GE Foundation continues to address this societal and economic imperative by supporting high-impact initiatives that improve the access, equity and quality of public education in GE communities around the world.
Learn more about the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program