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 new global talent program to find outstanding young people who need opportunity and support them for life as they use their talents to build a better world. Rise is the anchor program of a broader $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 inaugural Global Winners hailing from 42 countries—including four winners 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 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 first cohort of 100 Rise Global Winners included four from the MENA region: Egyptians Israa and Ola, Mondir from Morocco, and Palestinian winner Lama. We were pleased to host two webinars featuring winners and learn about their brilliant projects. Watch them at the links below!

The Global Winners are now completing 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.


Throughout each year’s eight-month application and selection process, applicants have an opportunity to showcase their brilliance by recording short videos about their background and interests in Stage I; creating a two-month individual project on a topic about which they are passionate in Stage II’s Rise Challenge; and presenting their work in the Hello World app and providing feedback on the work of their peers in Stage III. Stage I closed on January 14 this year, Stage II on February 16, and Stage III on February 23.

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.

Candidates who have questions can engage with fellow youth worldwide and Rise’s selection team in the Hello World application platform or Rise’s Discord community. You can also email Rise’s selection team directly, check out these FAQs, or reach out to your local Amideast office. We are here to support you!

About the Rhodes Trust

The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act. The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards providing transformative educational opportunities. Established in 1903, they are the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. 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.