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Strengthening support and
opportunities for
young community leaders

Graphic logo: Youth Leaders Scholarship

Launched in 2018, the CTAOP Youth Leaders Scholarship (YLS) program provides young leaders who have been nominated by CTAOP Program Partners with funding, tools, and resources to access tertiary studies and achieve long-term success.

YLS was built with the understanding that true lasting change will only come from within communities themselves. CTAOP believes the leaders there are the experts—they are the ones with the vision, the passion, and the true connection to their community.

YLS is an investment in those young leaders, their potential as changemakers, and the future they envision. 

“With the support of the YL Scholarship, I have felt myself on my way to reaching the truest and highest version of myself.”

~ CTAOP YL Scholar

YLS Program Cycle

1 CTAOP Program Partners nominate exceptional and well-rounded young people for the scholarship.

2 Candidates are shortlisted and then interviewed in person.

3 CTAOP selects 5–10 Scholars annually to receive holistic support throughout their university experience.

4 Scholars pursue tertiary studies with ongoing mentorship and leadership development.

5 As Scholars approach graduation, further career and project management support is provided.

6 Scholars finish their studies with a plan for the future, as well as the confidence and capacity to enable change.

“Since I became a YL Scholar I have been able to not only listen to other people’s voices but also to find my own voice in the midst of it all.”

~ CTAOP YL Scholar

What’s unique about YLS?

Scholars are not selected solely on their academic results. YLS focuses on a candidate’s all-around potential, leadership experience, and passion for community change.

All Scholars complete a Changemaker Project to give them practical project management and leadership experience, and to provide an opportunity for them to manifest their passions and enable positive social change.

CTAOP remains responsive and supportive, continuously learning and evolving our approach to ensure Scholars can navigate any challenges they face.

What does the scholarship cover?

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Room & Board

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Laptop & Internet

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Tuition & Books

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Travel & Transport

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Ongoing Mentorship

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Leadership Development

“I’m waking up tomorrow and making this happen!”

—Aya, YL Scholar

During a program trip in August 2017, Charlize and CTAOP supporters visited one of the organization’s Program Partners in the Eastern Cape.

During a group discussion, Aya stood up and powerfully declared that she wasn’t going to wait around anymore for change to come to her community.

Her passionate words were the spark of inspiration for CTAOP’s Youth Leaders Scholarship program.

YLS Cohorts

Annually, CTAOP selects exceptional youth, nominated by our Program Partners, for the YLS program.

Because they study different degrees on different timelines, we celebrate each new group as they enter the program.

Cohorts are asked as a group to come up with a name that represents who they are and who they want to be as YL Scholars. Launched in 2019, the cohorts below have chosen these names to represent themselves.

Graphic logo: Amari Kibou

The first cohort of YL Scholars started their university journeys in 2019. They named themselves “Amari Kibou,” meaning ‘strength’ and ‘hope’ in Yoruba and Japanese, respectively.

In their words, “with Amari (Strength) and Kibou (Hope) on our side, we can conquer everything that comes our way, so if you can’t beat us then join us ‘cause we are ready to make a positive impact.”

Graphic logo: Shoulders

The second cohort of YL Scholars joined the YLS program during the pandemic and aptly named themselves “Shoulders” as they rely on each other given the challenges that COVID-19 has presented.

They are not only each other’s shoulders to cry on, but they also hold each other up on their shoulders as a sign of their support for one another.

The third cohort named themselves “Nal’ithemba” meaning ‘here is hope or here is something to put you at ease or something to hold on to.’

The YL Scholars shared, “We carry ideas, thoughts, and sentiments that are strong enough to let us want to be hope for ourselves, each other, and the people of our communities. And the leaders that we aspire to be will instill hope of a better future through the various projects that we’ve come up with. In simple terms, this means we are the beacon of hope, for our communities, our country, and the entire universe.”

The fourth cohort of YL Scholars named themselves “Orewa Seikō,” meaning ‘I am success.’

They shared that they derived it from “To Tomoni” which means, ‘together as one.’ And as one YL Scholar shared, “this name has a strong meaning as considering where we come from, people did not make it as far as we have and considering our achievements which we made to date that shows that success is within us together as one Success.”

CTAOP representative Lorrie with Aya, the inspiration for AYS
Aya (right), the inspiration for our Youth Leadership Scholarship program.