JKCF Graduate Scholar's Foundation Profiled In New York Times
The educational climate in this south Asian country is complex. For many students, a university education is out of reach. Before they can even think about university, students must first pass a national exam at the end of grade ten in order to move on to higher secondary school—a feat that only 43.9 percent of the population managed in 2014. Of those, 78 percent attended private schools. For poor students in rural areas who do pass the exam, the commute to a higher secondary school is often too far to travel on a daily basis. In such a country, scholarships can make an incredible difference in getting college. By providing students financial support, access to student dormitories, career mentors, and community service opportunities, the Samaanta Foundation hopes to rejuvenate a generation of learners in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Karki started the small nongovernmental organization with friends in 2012 after conducting research for his dissertation on education in his native Nepal. The group started funding the first cohort of students with their own money as well as through friends’ support. They have to date supplied nine students with $1,800-$2,000 fellowships for high school and college. Fellows also have mentors and are involved in volunteer programs in their local communities.
Over the summer, Karki informed us he would be using the entirety of his 2014 Matthew J. Quinn Prize from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to provide more scholarships through Samaanta. He received the award alongside Matthew Loftus. Recipients of the Matthew J. Quinn Prize have made an extraordinary achievement in the arts, academics, or public service and exhibit a concern for others, a love of learning, integrity, and leadership. The award is named after the Foundation’s founding executive director and provides recipients—Jack Kent Cooke Scholars or alumni from the Foundation’s higher education programs—with $10,000. Karki graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio in 2010 and is currently a doctoral candidate in international development at the University of Oxford. He will graduate this year.
Click here to read the full article by Ginanne Brownell in The New York Times.