Nolbed Gap-year Program
The Nolbed Program is dedicated to uplifting underprivileged communities by bridging the gap between their exceptionally-talented students and quality education. Our goal is to give candidates the opportunity to attend top-tier colleges in the world on a full scholarship through our pre-college training program. Above all, our vision is to develop and groom ethical leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to positively reconstruct their lives and those of their communities.
Our students go on to attend top tier colleges around the world.
Target and Selection Process:
The Nolbed gap-year program is highly selective. Out of 408
applications this year, we are currently working with just eight
students, nationally. Considering our vision, the selection process
is designed to resist the temptation of selecting just academically
good students. We prioritize the emotionally Intelligent student with excellent grades over everything else. To maintain quality and attract the right pool of candidates, a strict selection criterion, Nolbed’s Four-Phased process, helps ensure that selected candidates meet our high standards. The process includes: Application & Essay review, mock (similar to SAT), Series of Interviews, and Presentation on “Why you deserve to be selected.”
At Nolbed we understand that learning by rote—a predominant pedagogical method of learning used in educational systems in most of Africa—is deficient in various ways. More importantly, it robs students of their ability to think critically and adapt to dynamic situations. Our program is committed to helping students learn quickly, adapt to a rigorously, fast-paced system and unleash their leadership potentials. We promote high expectations for success, forward-thinking, and an attitude of “give-back” to their communities. The pre-college program lasts for a year and it is designed with a focus on the following four rigorous curriculums:
At Nolbed we understand that learning by rote—a predominant pedagogical method of learning used in educational systems in most of Africa— is deficient in various ways. More importantly, it robs students of their ability to think critically and adapt to dynamic situations. Our program is committed to helping students learn quickly, adapt to a rigorously, fast-paced system and unleash their leadership potentials. We promote high expectations for success, forward-thinking, and an attitude of “give-back” to their communities. Our program lasts for 15 months, and it is designed with a focus on the following four rigorous curriculums: SAT Preparation: From June to August. Candidates sit for October SAT and November Subject test.
University Writing and Literature: This course runs for a year and it seeks to smoothen our students' transition into the intellectual community of top-tier colleges by helping them to become more capable and independent academic readers and writers. The course focuses on the practices of close reading, critical analysis, revision, collaboration, and research. Over the course of the year, our students read and discuss texts from a number of fields, and complete regular informal reading and writing exercises. Our students read and discuss seventeenth to twenty-first-century literary texts by Molière, Voltaire, Descartes, John Locke, Jonathan Swift, John Keats, Ghalib, Walt Whitman, Karl Max, Henrik Ibsen, etc. Other books include Africa Rising by Mahajan, Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, The Tipping Point by Gladwell, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Influence by Cialdini, Economics of Happiness by Bernanke, etc
Leadership Development course: Beyond general Intelligence and technical knowledge, individual and social skills separate the effective leader from the average manager. The ability to make sound decisions and manage teams effectively is crucial to leadership. This course helps students identify these critical skills in themselves, and provides ideas and tools for improving them. The course begins on the first week of August and ends the following year in April.
Nolbed Community Development Project (CDP): This year’s scholars are managing the Aboabo Community Library through speaking engagements at neighboring schools, social media campaigns, and by establishing office hours in the library to help students with their homework. In March 2020, scholars will kick off the Abóta Initiative, an afterschool program that helps junior high school students from underprivileged communities perform better on the national entrance exam. Ultimately, we require at least 500 volunteer-hours per candidate throughout the program. Through our partnerships with public and private entities, candidates have the opportunity to select, at least one activity to volunteer. Activities peak after January 1st.
In line with our overarching vision, our program extends beyond pre-college training. We continue to nurture these future leaders throughout their college and career lives, to ensure smooth transitions as they move along. Other program benefits include mentor-mentee pair-up, foster parent connection during college years, and help with finding internships and career opportunities. Beneficiaries of the program are introduced into networks of next-generation leaders dedicated to changing the socioeconomic progress across the African continent.
Where our students go