Future First baseline study found that 78% of adults across Kenya would be ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to go back to their old school and offer their expertise, but less than 1% have done so yet. The Future First Kenya model seeks to champion the development of alumni associations in Kenyan high schools to mobilize former students of the school to support current students, particularly around career choices. The program is molded from its successful UK sister program.
Future First Kenya has tapped into local networks to build a growing database of over X alumni. The program currently works with 15 schools of a diverse range including national, provincial, district and CBS’s. Whilst initiating in Nairobi, FF has included schools from low-income informal settlements, middle income suburbs and more rural regions of the county to demonstrate proof of concept.
The program connects alumni with their former schools to provide support in one or more of the following ways:
- Career and educational role models for current students through participation in career assemblies and workshops.
- Providers of work experience placements and internships for current students;
- Advisers to the school's management team
- Mentors and e-mentors to current students in the school, supporting them in both academic and career development;
- Fundraisers and donors to the school;
- Volunteers in extra-curricular activities such as reading clubs;
Alumni volunteer their services thus keeping the model low-cost. There is a plethora of ways for alumni to get involved at their old school depending upon their interests and capabilities. The range of benefits to be gained by participating alumni is wider still. Future First works with schools to plan and deliver the most effective interventions to meet their students’ needs. Having grown up in the same area and perhaps having had some of the same teachers, former students can be ideal careers role models as they are instantly able to relate. They know and understand the local community and the school.
By changing young people's perception of what people with a similar education and childhood upbringing are capable of achieving, the program helps them to expect more from themselves. This reduces the impact of localized identities and stereotypes on educational attainment and self-perception, with the potential to increase both employability and life satisfaction. Future First’s definition of success is not limited to professional careers, but includes every former student who finds fulfillment in their jobs and further or higher education courses. In this manner the program seeks to inspire a generation about the world of work an educate young people about career and education opportunities in a 21st Century jobs market.Future First’s approach represents a rare opportunity to take to global scale the idea of alumni enagagment. Alumni communities have existed for a long time and our approach seeks to use the alumni model in supporting the school-to-work transition.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportTransitional supportMentorship/internship/job placementCommunity EngagementComprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)
Model details2012Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)Comprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)ActiveLong-term projectCross-subsidizationThe African Centre for Women in ICT (ACWICT)5,342
We work closely with the Ministry of Education consulting on where our services are needed most. Also our taget schools are public school give us an opporunity to work in some poor populations both in urban slums and rural areas.
Scale12Across the 12 Schools we were able to mobilize 730 alumni with 124 attending alumni focused events.The number of student attending our events was 5342.1211 secondary schools and one primary school19Alumni focused events delivered.December, 2014
A polling of 2,000 adults across Kenya by Future First and IPSOS Synovate revealed an abundance of local volunteers willing to support their former school. 78% of the adult population across all regions of the country said that they would be "willing‟ or "very willing‟ to return to their former school to talk about their careers to current students, with the number rising to 90% in Nairobi.
Future First piloted its alumni engagement model in Kenya in the year 2012. October 2014 marked the end of the 2year pilot period. The program was welcomed across the 12 pilot schools we worked with. The pilot schools were carefully selected to represent a cross cutting mix of Kenyan school from National, provincial, district and newly constructed Constituency devolved fund schools. Our initial baseline survey indicated 90% and 81% of students polled said they didn’t talk to anyone in jobs they found interesting in school and outside school respectively.
We worked directly with 5342 students across the 12 schools , engaging 730 alumni with 124 alumni attending events. . Our pilot has confirmed that alumni programming can function well in schools in Kenya. Our model has also been highly rated by 99% of teachers and 90% of students we have worked with over the past two years
82% of students said that our sessions improved their knowledge of courses and jobs that they could do in the future.
90% of students agree or strongly agree that meeting former students at Future First events shows that people like them can be successful
99% of teachers thought our sessions were very useful for their students, and 96% believe the sessions motivate their students to work harder or much harder .
46 % of the alumni we engaged signed to support their former schools in various ways
For the pilot part of the program Future First worked directly with schools.The approach of Future First for the next phase is not to become a direct delivery agent but rather to strengthen existing systems at the level of national and regional governments, NGOs and school networks, as well as through direct interaction and trainings provided for groups of school and career service leaders.
Through this approach of harnessing existing infrastructure and supporting bespoke research on how to best translate services into locally accessible and appropriate training programmes, we stand a chance of delivering truly global impact.
With universal Government support for the concept and a new focus in the education community on the transition from school to work, there is currently a rare coming together of need, opportunity and resource.
Our stategic partners starting year 2015 will see us cover Five additional counties ; Meru, Mombasa,Mombosa, Laikipia and Kiambu. We shall be tartgeting 20 schools in each county working with atleast 1,000 students reaching 5,000 students outside Nairobi.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
We conduct baselines with the different schools before implementation commences and then do a real time evaluation with student, alumni and teachers and occasional focuse group discussion with the said groups.Internal assessment performanceAbility to reach the poorGraduation or promotion ratesEmployment ratesOtherStudent knowledge of various careers and motivation to work hard.Real-timeNo
- 96% of participating students feel motivated to work ‘much harder’ in school as a result of hearing from alumni in jobs.
- 82% of students said that Future First sessions improved their knowledge of courses and jobs that they could do in the future.
- 90% of students agree or strongly agree that meeting former students at Future First events shows that people like them can be successful
- 99% of teachers thought Future First sessions were very useful for their students, and 96% believe the sessions motivate their students to work harder or much harder .
Alumni for Every School a Community_Kenya (2) Final.pdf