WU Scholars Program Launches on International Women’s Day

Giving By Emily Larson March 8, 2017

Continues Commitment to Education

 By Elizabeth Roscoe, Executive Director, Western Union Foundation

Today marks International Women’s Day – a day set aside each year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. It’s also a time to reflect on progress made toward gender equality and to call for sustainable change and action. Although progress has been made, there is still a long way to go.

At the Western Union Foundation, we believe education can set the framework for economic opportunity and financial inclusion. It can help reduce poverty, which can lead to more stable, prosperous communities. Education has the power to develop a future workforce and can help empower women.

I am especially proud to announce the launch of WU Scholars, a global scholarship program that will help young aspiring women and men pursue an education for better employment opportunities, on a path toward a brighter future.

This year, the WU Foundation is pledging a minimum of 100 scholarships, totaling US$250,000.  Additional scholarships will be available through the Program, set up to enable Western Union® Agents/business partners to sponsor and connect with students in their local communities and will receive a dollar-for-dollar contribution match from the Western Union Foundation through the WU Scholars Program. Today, more than 15 Agents have already contributed to the program, including GraceKennedy Financial Services, Bangkok Bank Ltd., Sogexpress, Capital Transfert, and Pay-O-Matic Check Cashing & Financial Services.

Moving forward, the WU Scholars Program will be a key part of the Education for Better commitment that the Western Union Foundation made last year. The five-year commitment to training 50,000 women and youth 21st century careers has already impacted 6,686 beneficiaries, resulting in 82 percent achieving improved employment opportunities and 83 percent achieving improved earning potential. To date, 67 percent of beneficiaries are women or girls.

Better education today for better employment opportunities tomorrow.

Through the WU Foundation WU Scholars Program, we hope to boost employment opportunities for young people worldwide by providing scholarships of US$ 2,500.00 (or its equivalent in local currency) to students pursuing degrees related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), business and entrepreneurship. Among other attributes, we’re looking for scholars who demonstrate perseverance, aspiration and community-mindedness – so they can become part of a global network to help build a better world.

Why focus on STEM and entrepreneurship? According to the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, STEM education offers an enormous potential for economic growth and development, and may offer the key to social mobility for millions of people – especially women. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Women in Science reports that women account for a minority of the world’s researchers, making up less than 30 percent of the global workforce in scientific research and development when averaged across regions worldwide.

To apply and for more information, please visit: WUScholars.org

1UNESCO (Louise Wetheridge). May 2016. “Girls’ and women’s literacy with a lifelong learning perspective: issues, trends and implications for the Sustainable Development Goals.” UNESCO, Paris, France

2S4YE (Goldin, N. & M. Hobson with P. Glick, M. Lundberg, S. Puerto). 2015. “Toward Solutions for Youth Employment: A Baseline for 2015.” Solutions for Youth Employment, Washington D.C.

The Western Union Foundation, a separate §501(c)(3) recognized United States charity, is supported by The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners. The WU Scholars Program is administered by the Institute of International Education, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, on behalf of the Western Union Foundation.