LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Michigan State has lost funding for a program that gave students from struggling communities in Africa a full ride scholarship.According to a letter obtained exclusively by FOX 47 News, the MasterCard Foundation decided to pull funding from the 45 million dollar program without cause earlier this year. FOX 47's Marcus Dash spoke with a student who's graduating next month thanks to the scholarship. Orwell Madovi came to MSU on the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program in 2014. He told FOX 47's Marcus Dash coming to MSU has changed his life forever and feels for others who won't get this same opportunity as him.
"It's very sad, we were really sad too, everyone was very sad," said Orwell Madovi.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, Madovi says without that scholarship he wouldn't be able to do what he does as an electrical engineering major at MSU.
"Coming here offered me the opportunity to actually work in labs and see things develop, MSU opened my eyes it has been a blessing," said Madovi.
The scholarship not only helps students like Madovi see the world, it also shows them they do have the talent, just not the resources.
"It opens opportunities for academically gifted students out there who are in Africa, but don't have as much opportunity," said Madovi.
The hope for Madovi is to take these skillsets he's learned here and take it back to his country, but as Madovi tells me future students from Africa are being stripped of that.
"Take back what we have and develop our countries that we left back home, which is like the theme of MasterCard, so it's kind of sad there is no longer this opportunity or that door," said Madovi.
Madovi has made the most of his scholarship. He will graduate next month with a degree in electrical engineering and will stay enrolled at MSU as he pursues his doctoral degree.
Students currently enrolled in the program will not lose their scholarships, according to MSU. The MasterCard Foundation also pulled funding to a 13 million dollar partnership with MSU that helped Africans gets jobs in the agricultural field. We asked the MasterCard Foundation why they decided to terminate the MSU programs. We'll let you know when they get back to us.