Schmidt Futures, in collaboration with the Rhodes Trust and Amideast, announced the 2023 cohort of Rise Global Winners and launched a new application cycle for the 2023-2024 Rise Challenge. Rise is a program that finds promising young people, aged 15-17, and provides them with opportunities that allow them to work together to serve others over their lifetimes. Founded in 2019, Rise is the flagship program of a $1 billion commitment by Eric and Wendy Schmidt across their philanthropic organizations and initiatives to find and support global talent. Rise collaborates with over 60 partners from around the globe to identify and nurture talent from communities worldwide.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Rise for a fourth consecutive year. At a time when our global challenges are great, there can be no better way for our organization to make a difference than by working together to find and support the next generation of young problem solvers looking to build a better world."
Ambassador (ret.) Greta C. Holtz
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Rise for a fourth consecutive year. At a time when our global challenges are great, there can be no better way for our organization to make a difference than by working together to find and support the next generation of young problem solvers looking to build a better world,” said Ambassador (ret.) Greta C. Holtz, President and CEO of Amideast.
The 2023 Rise Global Winners include the program’s first-ever Winners from Bangladesh, Cuba, Jordan, and Uganda, totaling 43 nationalities represented by the 2023 cohort. This year’s winners are exceptionally talented and motivated young people who are changing the world through ideas and solutions such as an electrochemical pipe scale accelerator to decrease lead and copper corrosion in water; a biodegradable plastic using corn or cassava starch; a functioning reusable glucose monitor applicator that reduces the environmental impact of people with diabetes; a wearable device for dementia patients; and much more.
“We are excited to welcome a new cohort of 100 passionate young people to the Rise Global Winner community."
“We are excited to welcome a new cohort of 100 passionate young people to the Rise Global Winner community,” said Wendy Schmidt, who with her husband Eric is funding the Rise program. “Their ideas—from helping rice farmers transition to renewable energy to creating a biodegradable plastic from cassava starch—are the sparks that we hope will ignite a lifelong commitment to each other and to a better future for us all.”
The 2023 cohort includes four young women from the MENA region:
Dana Mohsen Abdelazim Ibrahim (Egypt) strives to make the world more accessible for blind people and the visually impaired community. She is a musician, studying piano performance and music composition at the Cairo Conservatoire. Dana is passionate about learning new subjects—from vocabulary to physics—and her academic excellence illuminates her passion for learning. For her Rise project, Dana created an accessible, properly formatted music textbook for the blind. The project aimed to decrease the learning time of blind musicians, facilitate the teaching process for instructors, and alleviate the anxiety often experienced by blind or visually impaired musicians when searching for accessible music learning materials. Dana values perseverance, independence, passion, and, most importantly, a desire to make a change.
Jana Ashraf Diriyeh (Palestine) is a student with many interests, including knitting, reading, writing, playing the guitar, coding in multiple languages, and developing apps or games. But above all, her favorite hobby is helping people. Alongside teammates, Jana developed an app that helps her classmates fight social media addiction. For her Rise project, she developed "Scarbel," an interactive game that detects dyslexia in children and supports their progress through effective diagnostic and support exercises. Jana is also a published author of two short stories for children and teenagers
Leena Abdeen (Palestine) is an advocate for women in STEM with a love for technology. For her Rise project, Leena co-created a web app to address delayed emergency responses in Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Her solution simplifies first aid to save lives. In the future, she hopes to pursue studies in astrophysics and computer science. Leena hopes to leverage her interests and knowledge to create more innovations that benefit her community.
Joud Baddawi (Jordan) is a STEM enthusiast who found Rise through Amala, another partner in the MENA. She is fascinated by philosophy and loves to read and skateboard in her free time. The youngest Student Council President in her school's history, Joud has a keen interest in politics. She is also a TechGirls alumna and a self-taught web developer. As a social entrepreneur who does not let location limit her impact, Joud volunteers remotely at two nonprofits—CS Base and Project: Empower—that align with her goals to create positive change through technology. For her Rise project, Joud founded a nonprofit initiative to help small business owners, particularly women, grow and scale their businesses. When asked who inspires her, Joud said she is inspired by the person she aims to become in 20 years.
With global partners ranging from educational institutions such as Amideast to businesses and local governments, Rise identifies talented 15-17-year-olds and supports them as they leverage their ideas, energy, and initiative to solve the problems facing society and our natural world. Rise aims to empower the next generation of leaders to realize their tremendous potential and commitment to serve others throughout their lives.
Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, commented: "At the Rhodes Trust we are passionate about the power of young people to lead transformational change. The latest cohort of Rise Global Winners shows that this confidence is well founded, and we look forward to welcoming them all to our intergenerational and international community of people who want to make a positive difference."
Additionally, starting on September 28, Rise opened its fourth application cycle, inviting young people ages 15 to 17 (as of July 1, 2024) to apply for the 2023-2024 Rise Challenge through January 17, 2024.
Everyone who applies to Rise, from anywhere in the world, gains a network of peers, and a curated offering of opportunities from Rise’s partners around the world. A full list of benefits is available at www.risefortheworld.org/about-rise.
To learn more and apply to the Rise challenge, visit: www.risefortheworld.org/apply-to-rise.
Rise is a program that finds promising young people and provides them with opportunities that allow them to work together to serve others over their lifetimes. The program starts at ages 15–17 and offers benefits including scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems. For more information about Rise, visit www.risefortheworld.org
About Schmidt Futures
Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that finds and connects talented people across fields, generations, and geographies to harness their collective skills for public benefit. To learn more about our method and the diverse types of capital and tools that we deploy, visit https://www.schmidtfutures.com
About Rhodes Trust
The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, is an educational charity that forges brighter futures for individuals and the world through a family of global fellowship programmes. The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s pre-eminent graduate fellowship, bringing exceptional people of character to the University of Oxford to study. Over 8000 Rhodes Scholars, from more than 50 countries, have gone on to serve at the forefront of education, business, science, medicine, the arts, politics and beyond. Alongside visionary partners around the world, we are proud to be a global family of programmes: the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, Atlantic Institute, Schmidt Science Fellows, Rise, and Oxford Next Horizons.
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