In 1994, Rwanda was ravaged by a genocide that killed nearly one million people. While the country still faces many challenges, it has also become a global model for development — particularly in education.

One powerful example is the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, an upper-secondary boarding school located in the Gashora District. As part of the Rwanda Girls Initiative, the school was founded in 2008 by Soozi Sinegal McGill and Shal Foster, who believed that the most effective way to help young women become leaders in their communities is through STEM education.

By the time we collaborated with the school, it was already doing incredible work, so we looked for a way to help expand the scope of its mission. For [how many years] we produced an annual fundraising video that enabled its founders to raise [how many x times more money] from international donors.

What began as an ambitious effort to make a difference in the lives of a handful of young women has since become an astonishing case study in what happens when women are given a chance to succeed. In a country where just 16 percent of girls graduate from high school, the Academy has prepared more than 600 young women to attend 162 different universities in 25 countries around the world. In the process, these young women aren’t just changing their own communities.

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