Success of student supported at Africa’s leading STEM-focused academy for girls

Providing support for women and girls to engage with STEM education is one of the central pillars for creating a sustainable future for Africa.

Student Semiat Ayomide Ayeni has recently been offered a Future Leaders Scholarship to study BA Arts & Sciences at Hong Kong University. She loves Mathematics and is now excited to explore a course which will help to develop her creative problem-solving and analytical skills.

The COSARAF Foundation was pleased to sponsor Semiat to study towards her A Levels at the African Science Academy. African Science Academy focuses on STEM education for brilliant academically gifted young women from disadvantaged backgrounds from across Africa. They provide them with a world-class, one-year STEM programme of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. Following this intensive year of study the Academy supports these young women in to leading Universities across the world.

Semiat was youngest student in her cohort at ASA and the second-highest achieving student, gaining A*, A, A in Maths, Further Maths and Physics – in just one academic year.

Semiat began studying at ASA at just fifteen years old. She is from a large family in Nigeria. She always loved Mathematics but, before ASA, didn’t know much about STEM careers. Semiat describes herself as being a shy and quiet person, focused on studying Medicine in
the future but not good at expressing what she wanted to do.

When she was fourteen years old, she was encouraged to apply to ASA by her teacher and told that she could apply for a scholarship because she couldn’t afford the fees. She says that ASA has given her opportunities that she had never even thought of. She was able to build confidence, speaking in
public regularly and focusing on what she wanted to do in the future. Listening to amazing guest speakers at ASA, and having discussions with her teachers and ASA family, she realised what she wanted to do and what she was passionate about was the development of her country and contributing to society in some way.

Well done, Semiat!

I want to help give opportunities to other Muslim girls who want to go into STEM and empower them to speak up and be heard. When you believe in yourself and what you are doing, everything else becomes easy.
Semiat Ayeni
ASA Student

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