McConnell Scholar starts scholarship fund for students in Zimbabwe

(March 26, 2021) By Natalie Smith
McConnell Scholar starts scholarship fund for students in Zimbabwe

Dennis Mashindi ('21)

Senior McConnell Scholar Dennis Mashindi (’21) has started a scholarship program to give back to his home village in rural Zimbabwe. Called the SPORA Scholars Program, his goal is to assist African youth to receive robust learning experiences. In 2018, Mashindi had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe to work on developmental projects through the University of Louisville, but while there, he became inspired to do more.

Starting with his own funds, Mashindi began sponsoring individual children to pay for their school fees and lessons and has since raised over $800 with the help of friends and supporters. 

“Similar to Senator McConnell’s goals for McConnell Scholars, the end goal of the SPORA Scholars Program is to help village youth to leave home to get an education, and then eventually come back and put what they’ve learned to good use,” Mashindi said. 

For more information, and to support Mashindi's SPORA Scholars Program, visit

Mashindi studies biology and political science at the University of Louisville. He intends to pursue a master’s degree in public health before attending medical school.