Scholarship Services Update!
Updated: Jul 26
In 2021, our Director of Corporate Client Relations, Samantha Davidson, received a phone call from a representative of IHS Towers, one of the world’s largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared communications infrastructure, with operations in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The Chairman & CEO of IHS Towers, Sam Darwish, had a vision of creating an education scholarship program for the children of the company’s frontline workers, in recognition of their contribution throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was looking for a third party with international education know-how to design and administer the program, to ensure its delivery with the highest quality, objectivity, and transparency. They found and selected Bennett.
As the go-to experts on international education, and with a passion for helping children of all abilities and backgrounds pursue the best education opportunities available to them, we were thrilled by the prospect of working with underserved students who would not be able to attend university if not for this program. Needless to say, we jumped in with both feet!
Our first step was Design and Development. We worked closely with IHS Towers to craft a mission statement and purpose for the newly coined Frontline Workers Initiative (FLWi): "To fund life-changing education at the world’s leading colleges and universities for the most academically promising children of lower-income company workers." Based on Sam Darwish’s passion for expanding opportunities for young people and the importance of STEM to the company, which was founded by engineers, we developed the program’s eligibility and selection criteria. We also designed and created a website as a central point of communication for prospective students.
From there, we facilitated the Launch and Administration of the program. Partnering with the IHS Towers Communications Team, we initiated an email campaign announcing the FLWi and directing eligible employees to the website. In an effort to reach employees who may not have access to regular email, particularly field-based operatives, we also created graphics and SMS messages that could be sent by text. We managed contact form inquiries, collected applications and supporting documentation, made selection decisions, and communicated final outcomes to the student applicants.
A unique piece of this project is our ongoing Student Support and Reporting. IHS Towers wanted to do more than give a one-time grant. They wanted to ensure that the student recipients were able to take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that the scholarship would generate real academic success. Bennett’s Scholarship Coordinators meet regularly with each recipient to monitor their academic progress and provide guidance, whether through identifying resources, providing encouragement, or exploring further opportunities like summer and study abroad programs. This ongoing relationship has added a valuable layer of support for the students and has ensured that IHS Towers’ Frontline Workers Initiative is making a concrete difference in their lives.
In terms of next steps, we are now working to expand the program to include a preparation program for younger students. Our goal is to provide them with resources and skills that will equip them for eventual entry into world-renowned universities.
As we now embark on our third year of the FLWi Scholarship Program, we delight in reflecting on its "origin story" and are grateful for the opportunity to bring our experience to bear in such an important initiative. We are honored to work with IHS Towers and are grateful for the faith and trust they have placed in us.
Above all, we are delighted on behalf of the students who are able to pursue a university education because of this incredible opportunity. I will close by letting the students speak for themselves (video below, courtesy of IHS Towers).
Best of luck to all of the students in everything.
Hannah Buzzelli joined the Bennett Operations team in 2019 where she helped manage the company’s daily workflow and provided natural expertise in process refinement. In 2022, Hannah took on a new role at Bennett as Scholarship Programs Manager, and in this capacity she has led the building out of all aspects of Bennett’s Scholarship Management Program: the IT platform for the receipt of scholarship applications, the processes whereby scholarship students are selected, the communications related to all stages of the application process, the onboarding of new scholarship recipients, and the student tracking and reporting required by the corporate scholarship provider. She has also helped to develop the mentoring program that supports scholarship recipients as they transition from secondary school their native countries to universities around the world.
Over the years, Bennett International Education Consultancyhas worked with hundreds of corporations across the globe, many of them Fortune 500 companies, providing domestic and international school advisement & placement services - preschool through university - to the dependents of relocating employees. In addition to education placement, our team provides customized consulting for corporations with a range of education issues: education policy writing & benchmarking, tuition studies, group move advisement & planning, and remote education solutions.