Rise Initiative

Rise is an initiative that seeks to find brilliant young people ages 15-17 from around the world and support them for life as they work to serve others. It is building a global community of rising leaders, connecting applicants with peers worldwide and providing access to free learning resources and other opportunities. Global Winners receive lifelong benefits, including scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as they solve humanity’s most pressing problems.
Graphic advertising the Rise program

Amideast is partnering with Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust to find young people across the Middle East & North Africa as part of the Rise initiative, a global talent program that searches for outstanding young people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they use their talents to build a better world. Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

Everyone who applies is part of Rise’s global community. The program connects talent from over 170 countries, with the second cohort of Global Winners hailing from countries around the world—including a number from the Middle East and North Africa.

Just by applying, applicants can take free online courses from leading experts around the world. All applicants have access to opportunities from Rise’s global network of partners, and during the application and selection process, every applicant builds professional and personal skills, learns to tell their story, and develops their portfolio with a significant piece of work. Plus, they can meet talented peers from countries around the globe.

Each spring, Rise selects up to 500 finalists to participate in virtual interviews on “Finalist Days,” which previous Finalists and Global Winners describe as a highlight of the process. Announcements of each year’s 100 Global Winners come later in the year.

Applications were due by January 25, 2023, and the application period is now closed.


Each year, Rise selects 100 Global Winners ages 15-17 and provides them with a lifetime of personalized support—including scholarships, mentorship, career services, and access to funding to develop their ideas—as they work together to serve others. Rise is one of the largest individual award programs in the world.

Amideast is incredibly proud that Rise’s latest cohort of 100 Rise Global Winners included several from the MENA region: Farid Mohammed from Egypt, Bouchra Geagea from Lebanon, Fatma Mahmoud from Egypt, Jawhara Assaid Abdelhag Emhemed from Libya, Mohamed Ashraf Ahmed Rabie Ibrahim from Egypt, and Wael Kouki from Tunisia. These six join four MENA winners from Year 1.

Last year, we were pleased to host two webinars featuring Year 1 winners and learn about their brilliant projects. Watch them at the links below!

Global Winners complete specialized leadership programming and will receive a lifetime of support through the program, including:

  • Residential Summit: An invitation to a fully-funded, three-week residential summit with the Rise Global Winner cohort—held in a rotating location for each new cohort—as well as to network events in subsequent years.
  • Higher Education Scholarships: A four-year, post-secondary scholarship at any accredited university, including tuition and a living stipend, based on need and where not already covered by financial aid; and the opportunity to apply for scholarship funding for a graduate degree.
  • Mentorship & Career Services: Mentors paired with each Global Winner to provide personal, academic, or professional guidance, and specialized career services for internships and jobs.
  • Global Winner Network: Access to a network of other Global Winners across cohorts to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, and collaborate together.
  • Partner Network: Opportunity to be matched to programs, secondary school scholarships, internships, and other benefits from partners in Rise’s global network.
  • Other Funding: Opportunity to apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas addressing major problems in local communities or around the world—ranging from seed money to start a social enterprise to a grant for a non-profit. Funds will be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.


Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that creates public value from private philanthropy through risk transfer—showing that brilliant people in networks can solve hard problems in science and society by connecting across fields, competing and challenging ideas, bringing multiple types of capital to bear, and applying science and technology thoughtfully through tools such as AI.


The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, builds a better world through global fellowship programs that develop and connect compassionate, innovative, and public-spirited people committed to solving humanity’s challenges. Their flagship program, established in 1903, is the Rhodes Scholarship, the world’s pre-eminent graduate scholarship. Nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, education, the arts, NGOs, commerce, research and other sectors. They are well known advocates for expanded social justice and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine.