Amisa Rashid. [PHOTO - COURTESY]

Amisa Rashid, a student from Nairobi, Kenya, who was named a top ten finalist for the inaugural Global Student Prize, has urged fellow Kenyan students to apply for this year’s prize. Applications opened this week. Now in its second year, the Varkey Foundation launched the Global Student Prize, a $100,000 sister award to the Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform to highlight the efforts of extraordinary students throughout the world that are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

 Rashid, who is studying for her master’s in public policy and management at Strathmore University, launched the Nivshe Foundation to build community resilience with community-based mental health interventions and trauma-informed programmes.  She was selected as a top ten finalist for the inaugural Global Student Prize from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world.  Rashid  believes her fellow students across Kenya have made huge contributions to society that deserve to be recognized through the prize, which showcases to a global audience the amazing promise students throughout the world demonstrate in their learning and far beyond.

Top ten

“I am so grateful to have been selected as a top 10 finalist for the inaugural Global Student Prize and the platform that comes with it to continue to help change lives in Kenya,” she said. “I know I am not alone. There are now a generation of young change makers across Kenya that have the drive and imagination to transform our society for the better. They deserve huge praise for continuing to fight for their future during the pandemic and their incredible contributions deserve to be recognized and supported. This is why I am encouraging Kenyan students who have an inspiring story to tell to apply for the Global Student Prize now,” she added.  

 The prize is open to all students who are at least sixteen years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme. Part-time and online courses   students are also eligible for the prize. Kenyan citizens have a history of excelling in both prizes, with the winner of the 2019 $1M Global Teacher Prize being Peter Tabichi, a science teacher and Franciscan friar at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Nakuru County.

“Students throughout the world are in a hurry. They know that 2022 is the moment when some of the greatest challenges in history have reached a tipping point. Despite facing enormous obstacles, students everywhere are bringing their creativity and talents to the fore. They deserve huge praise and recognition – but most importantly they deserve our support for continuing to learn and never giving up,” said Dan Rosenweig, CEO and President of Chegg.

Addressing challenges

 According to Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation,  both the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize have been launched to highlight the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality  and  global pandemics. “With the world leaders now focused on rebuilding our world in the wake of the pandemic, I urge them to never forget that it is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrow. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence,” said Varkey.

Students applying for the Global Student Prize will be assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation   and how they operate as global citizens. The   closing date for applications is Sunday 17 April 2022.

The prize will be narrowed down to a top fifty shortlist and top ten finalists, to be announced later in the year, helping provide worldwide recognition for high achieving students. The winner will be chosen from the top ten finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals. The winner is expected to be announced live at a ceremony later in the year.



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