Student Stories: Three Ways to Raise Money to Attend YYGS

April 12, 2019

1) Request Donations from Local Organizations
Oluwatomisin Ogunnubi received a donation from Keystone Bank that funded her Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) tuition. Excited for the opportunity to learn about science and technology, especially artificial intelligence, Oluwatomisin was determined to attend the program but faced certain financial obstacles: “The admission fees and travel costs were particularly very expensive for my family to afford at the time. They already had huge financial commitments to take care of.” She immediately began researching ways to raise money.

“YYGS had provided me with a tool guide on how to fundraise the rest of the tuition cost, so I followed the manual and drew up a list of potential donors that I could reach out to such as relatives, friends, my parents’ social media followings, etc. I sent out letters explaining my interest in YYGS and my desire to make an impact.”

Keystone Bank was included on her potential donor list, and after sending the organization a letter, they scheduled an interview to meet with her and later surprised Oluwatomisin with a donation check. The donation helped pay her remaining tuition balance and some additional travel expenses.

Oluwatomisin’s Advice:
“YYGS is an experience you wouldn’t want to forfeit attending because of obstacles you may be posed with. It is key to have a positive mind and not to limit yourself. You could seek support from your friends and collectively raise the total amount little by little. You could also decide to reach out to companies or respected individuals and one might just be willing to lend a helping hand. Don’t stop trying, no matter how many times you may be turned down. If someone had told me before that a bank would sponsor my trip to YYGS, I would have laughed in disbelief. One thing you learn at YYGS, any dream or aspiration you have is achievable as long as you are determined to achieve it.”

2) Seek Funding from a Private Donor

Chenyu Zhang received support from a private donor to attend the YYGS reunion. He was excited to attend the reunion but struggled to afford the airfare from China to the United States. During YYGS-Beijing, Chenyu participated in a professional development event where Yale and Yale Center Beijing affiliates networked with program participants. Chenyu had connected with David Diebold during this event, and he reached out to David for advice on how to raise funds. To Chenyu’s surprise, David offered to fund the cost of airfare for Chenyu to attend the reunion.

“I learned that sometimes the solution to a problem will present itself when you bring meaning to the problem rather than just trying to find a textbook answer.”

Chenyu’s Advice
“Focus on showing people the meaning and importance of your mission. Show people that you are on a mission.”

3) Reach Out to Your Local Municipality
In addition to receiving a partial scholarship from YYGS, Gali Haskell also received funding from his family and a local municipality to attend the program. He wanted to explore his interests in politics and law, as well as meet like-minded peers from around the world who had similar passions, but he faced financial obstacles:

“In Israel where I live, expenditures are high, and incomes are low (compared to the United States). The fee of about $6,000 is equal to a monthly salary of a mid-class family in Israel. In addition, my family was facing some health problems, and I was not sure I could get the support I needed.”

Fortunately, Gali’s extended family was willing and able to help: “Paying for YYGS involved my extended family and some of my own savings. My parents, my grandparents, and a distant relative [helped fund my tuition and flight costs].”

Gali sought alternate means of fundraising too: “Trying to obtain funds, I approached several organizations, including the regional council. They got a recommendation from my school and responded with a modest scholarship.”

Gali’s Advice
“Search close to home. In my experience, there aren’t any external scholarships designated for summer programs. Consequently, it is preferable to ask aid from people and bodies you know, who are generally committed to (or willing to help) local youth. If your needs fits their goals, they may be able to help. For instance, go to your mayor if he wants to introduce kids from your area to elite colleges.”