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Student Selection Process

The Daraja administration takes three weeks to travel around Kenya interviewing applicants and meeting with organizations and schools to spread the word about Daraja and the importance of educating girls.

Daraja receives hundreds of applications each year. After a rigorous review of the applications, finalists are invited to an in person interview. A diverse student selection committee interviews the girls to discover those with innate potential for grassroots leadership. Questions include: “What would you change about your community and why?”

Selected students rank among the highest in their primary schools and exhibit strong leadership qualities. Much attention is paid to ensure Daraja has a diverse representation of girls from local communities, various regions of Kenya, as well as a cross-section of tribes and religious backgrounds. Currently our student body represents 32 of 42 tribes and multiple religions.

We currently are only able to offer scholarship to 1 out of 10 students interviewed.

We use 3 basic criteria when selecting future Daraja Girls


Daraja evaluates the financial need of the student and their family. We partner with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and trusted community members (principals, teachers, church leaders) to work with our applicants and provide background information about each student. If the student is able to attend secondary school in any other way (paying their own tuition, room and board, obtaining a scholarship etc.) they do not meet the first and most important of Daraja’s three criteria.


About half of the interview questions focus on instances when the girls have shown leadership qualities, their ability to think critically about themselves and their home areas, and their desire to lead in the future. The interview is a pivotal aspect of the student selection process. The administration has coined the term, ‘Daraja It Girl,’ for an interviewee who shows something about her that is special, that sets her apart from the other applicants, but most importantly who can gain from a Daraja education. All students are accepted because they show an innate leadership quality, desire for an education, and the belief that they are the hope for their family, community, and country.


As part of the application process, a student submits their 8th grade examination (KCPE) results. We also examine accumulative primary school performance and identify students scoring at the top of their primary classes.