Responsible Giving is as Serious as making the income in the first place!

This is my fourth trip to Africa, and my longest. Although my husband and I are working on many projects, one of the most challenging initiatives over our eight months in Africa has been dispersing the Ignite Excellence Foundation scholarships.

We gleamed a lot of insight on how to give responsibly. As we reviewed each recipient, the question of whether we are helping or hurting would often come to mind. The answer, we believe through our diligent process that we were helping future African women leaders. Time will only tell.

We have awarded four scholarships to perspective African women leaders, three from Kenya and one from Rwanda.

We were able to provide each woman with a scholarship for their first year, so your continued support to impact African communities, countries and continent will continue to be appreciated.

Awarding the scholarships took five months. We interviewed 10 women and selected four that met the foundation criteria. Because there are several women who want a scholarship, and Ignite Excellence Foundations is very specific to invest in women leaders who will create a ripple effect, we implement selection criteria. A representative from the school, and myself evaluated each of the candidates.

Who were and continue to look to scholarship?

  1. Women that completed the thought provoking five-page application followed by a face-to-face interview
  2. She must have a ligament financial need. (We checked references to substantiate claim).
  3. She effectively communicated why an undergraduate or post-graduate education will assist with achieving her vision of contribution to society.
  4. Ability to describe the positive impact she would make in the community.
  5. Prove that her intended initiatives would create a ripple effect throughout community, or country.
  6. Is the issue she wants to address a prominent issue in a community, country or continent?
  7. How clear are her objectives and how determined is she to achieve them?
  8. An evaluation of character and demonstrated  leadership qualities.

All the women we have given scholarships to are very different. They come from different backgrounds, circumstances, situations and a couple of their stories would make you proud to empower them to make their difference in society.

You can learn about each one in their page profile

In addition to my perspective on giving responsibly and following the foundation investment, the foundation blog will have updates from each of the scholarship recipients. It is a good way of learning their perspective and about the women we invested in.

We hope you will see the value the foundation will bring to these women. And how continued support is helped make their dream become a reality.

We also hope you will make the ignite Excellence Foundation your charity of chose this year so we can provide scholarship for these 4 women next year, and more women who are capable of making a major impact but just need the resources to have their dream realized.

If you have any questions about how we select the recipients or about the foundation, please don’t hesitated to ask. You are welcome to email us at

As we move forward trying to gain funding for the foundation, we are looking to the future and sustainability. Stay tuned for our ideas on taking your investment and creating more of an investment in Africa.

Thank you for your continued support.

Suzanne F Stevens
Founder, Ignite Excellence Foundation

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Suzanne F. Stevens
Suzanne F. Stevens

Suzanne F. Stevens ignites leaders & entrepreneurs to cultivate cultures of community conscious-contributions™. Suzanne F. Stevens is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). The CSP is the only earned professional designation for speakers recognized internationally by some 15 speaking associations serving members in over 20 countries. Internationally, only 15% of speakers have earned this designation. Suzanne is one of only sixty-three Canadians who currently hold this designation for speaking excellence. Suzanne F. Stevens is a social entrepreneur, professional speaker, pioneer, host, philanthropist, and soon to be an author. In 2016, thirteen years after founding and leading the Ignite Excellence Inc. Group as President and CEO, she rebranded the organization to The YouMeWe Group. Previously she focused on influencing, differentiating and engaging more people and more business. The YouMeWe Group's primary focus is celebrating, cultivating and co-creating conscious contributions™.

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