The United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) was established in 1999 with the strong belief that all talented international students, regardless of economic background, should have equal educational opportunities as well as access to resources at colleges and universities that offer need and merit-based international student financial aid. As the number of students in the USAP program increased, a sense of camaraderie and family began to develop among the students and those who passed through the program felt the need to extend the help they had received onto incoming classes. This help has been in form of informational resources, mentorship and financial assistance.
As most USAP students require full or nearly full financial assistance in order to attend any institution of higher learning, it is usually quite impossible for students to manage on their own. However, the USAP body of students is as talented as it is innovative. The UsapTrust was therefore formed to cater for this need to give back and the necessity for financial help that exists among the many talented students. Several recently graduated and currently enrolled students now make monthly or more frequent contributions and intervene on behalf of incoming classes.
Some of the financial challenges that the UsapTrust has helped students overcome are SEVIS fees, airfare, immunizations and college enrollment deposits among other things. The UsapTrust is fully run by students and has directly and indirectly affected over a thousand people as most of the beneficiaries of the Trust are also the core breadwinners for their families.
In 2009, the UsapTrust, through generous individual donations of USAP students and alumni, raised over $5400 to support the incoming Zimbabwean USAP class. Over $3000 was used to purchase three airline tickets and $2000 was used to pay for 10 SEVIS fees.
The UsapTrust will continue to make the dreams of several young people come true and to help pave the way for achievers with great minds and hearts to make an impact on society as a whole. Despite the generosity of USAP members, the Trust frequently faces challenges due to limited inflow of funds and a large volume of students in need of assistance. Attempts to get registered as an NGO have not yet been fruitful, and so it continues to depend on the generosity of interested parties.
In Shona they say, "Gudo guru rakabva mukurerwa" (do not despise humble beginnings). With help and nurturing, UsapTrust can grow and make an even larger impact. We very much welcome donations to help us strengthen our causes.
If you prefer to contribute by check, please make check payable to:
PO Box 201543
CT 06520, USA
For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.