Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, has announced the opening of applications for the 2023 Rise Global Challenge. The applications are open to young people aged between 15 to 17 years as of the first of July, 2023. The flagship programme of Schmidt Futures and the anchor of a broader $1 billion philanthropic commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Rise identifies brilliant people who are in need of opportunities to excel. It also supports them for life as they work to serve others.

Rise will build a lifelong community of students, teachers and institutions across sectors who aim to serve others. The programme, which identifies young people between the ages of 15 and 17 from around the world, is designed to encourage a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that  includes :   scholarships, career services and funding opportunities to help these leaders serve others for decades to come.  

Over the last two years, a total of seven Kenyan students have been selected as Rise Global Winners. Their projects include:

  • Promoting reading among underprivileged communities in Kenya;
  • Developing the Rapidcovix Breathalyzer to help rural, low-income families to detect infectious disease at low cost better; 
  • Preventing deforestation through a programme that is aimed at planting trees in local communities.

Schmidt Futures recognizes that whereas talent is created equally, opportunity is not.  Consequently, the Rise programme partners with over thirty   global organizations, including NBA Africa, the HALI Access Network, KenSAP  and Akili Dada in Kenya in order to identify brilliant young people who are passionate about building a better world.   “Akili Dada is thrilled to continue growing our partnership with Rise in Kenya as we work together to nurture the next generation of young and innovative leaders looking to build a better world,” said Diana Njuguna, head of programmes for Akili Dada.

Since its inception, Rise has welcomed more than 150,000 people from over 170 countries to its community. In that vein, it has selected 200 winners from 69 countries of origin who have showcased their brilliance – from making education more accessible to mitigating global warming and developing tools for detecting cancer better. 

Rise Global Winners will receive individualized and flexible support to achieve their goals as they work to serve others. The programme is designed to encourage a lifetime of service to develop innovative solutions to solve society’s major challenges.  Consequently, Rise provides all applicants with access to its global network, free online courses and curated opportunities from partners.

“Eric and I have been impressed by the optimism, initiative and curiosity of the young people in the growing Rise community,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and president ofthe Schmidt Family Foundation. “We are excited to continue expanding this network with the 2023 cohort and can’t wait to see what these talented teens can accomplish when they work together in service for others.”

“We look for hidden brilliance, in whatever form it takes, wherever it is in the world,” said EricBraverman, CEO of Schmidt Futures. “There are so many extraordinary people who could do so much more to make the world better if they only could find opportunity.”

“We know that amazing things happen when talented people from different backgrounds are brought together and given opportunities to study, collaborate, and innovate,” said Elizabeth Kiss,CEO of the Rhodes Trust. “Rise is an extraordinary opportunity for people from every corner of the world to embark on a lifelong journey of service and impact. Wherever you are, we encourage you to apply. You only know what you can achieve when you try.”



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