For 2017, we will award six new BMKF scholarships, including two designated law degree scholarships. We will also renew scholarships for 11 BMKF scholars who are continuing their studies, for a total of 17 scholarships!
A lot of time and consideration goes into our selection process. We had 28 candidates this year. Many have very difficult lives, in addition to great financial need.
Based on recommendations from MSN, our Nepal nonprofit board, this year we gave priority to candidates who face challenges because of low caste, ethnic group, or disabilities, as well as those impacted by last year's earthquakes. Priority was also given to students from remote areas outside the Kathmandu Valley, where young women have less access to education and employment -- and a greater risk of arranged marriage, including child marriage, or being sent by their families to work in a foreign country. We also look for clear academic and career goals, leadership potential, and commitment to social impact.
This year, our education committee included a teacher, a librarian, a social worker, and several nonprofit professionals. The team spent many hours reading and evaluating applications and came up with a list of finalists. Our Nepali board and volunteers interviewed the finalists in Kathmandu last weekend. We will announce the 2017 BMKF scholarship recipients later this month. Stay tuned!