First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today commissioned a group of 650 Wings to Fly scholars selected to join the Equity African Leaders Programme (EALP) this year.The First Lady challenged the beneficiaries of the EALP – an internship-based leadership development programme – to ensure they pay back by excelling in their university education.Under the programme – started by Equity Bank in 1998 – the top boy and girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam from each district also attend a two-week induction in Nairobi where they receive training in financial literacy, career development, and entry-level banking.“Your bright faces and confidence gives me hope that the future of Kenya is, indeed, in safe hands,” the First Lady told the students.She was speaking today during the launch at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).The First Lady said she was delighted to see that the young scholars are focused on making a change in the country early in life.She advised the students to uphold high moral standards especially during their internship and as they join the university.“As you go out to pursue university education, you will experience a new level of freedom. I urge you to make wise choices,” the he First Lady said.Noting that some of the students will join renowned universities abroad, the First Lady challenged them to come back home and build their country after gaining skills across the globe. “Success comes from hard work, patience and focusing on your goals. It is also about giving back to society and remembering those you have left behind,” the First Lady said. On her Beyond Zero campaign, the First Lady said the initiative has taught her a lot on what needs to be done to alleviate maternal and child mortality.She singled out lack of knowledge and access to health services as some of the challenges facing the country.The First Lady said maternal and child mortality has a direct impact on the sustainable future and progress of Kenya, saying in marginalized and disadvantaged population’s mothers and children face higher mortality risk.She regretted that early marriages, teenage pregnancies and lack of choices still disempower many women and girls in Africa.The First Lady also sent a message of condolence to the families of Garissa University students killed during a terror attack early today.EquityBank CEO and Chairman of the EquityGroup Foundation Dr. James Mwangi, said theleadership development programme is key in inculcating values to the Kenyan youth.He said through the programme young people are learning the virtues of compassion and humility which are important ingridients in deterring individuals from stealing public resources.Students who have benefitted from the programme commended the First Lady for her zeal and commitment in improving the welfare of Kenyan women and children.They said the completion of 21 kilometer half marathon by the First Lady demonstrated her commitment to improving the welfare of Kenyans.