APPLY – Brilliant Nigerian Teens Call to Join 2023 Rise Global Challenge

Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, has announced that young people ages 15 to 17 (as of July 1st, 2023) can apply for the 2023 Rise Global Challenge with the launch of the ‘Rise To’ campaign.

The flagship program of Schmidt Futures and the anchor of a broader $1 billion philanthropic commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Rise finds brilliant people who need opportunity and 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 program, 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 could include scholarships, career services, and funding opportunities to help these leaders serve others for decades to come.

Since its inception, Rise has welcomed over 150,000 people from over 170 countries to its community and 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 to better detect cancer.

Schmidt Futures recognizes that talent is created equally, but opportunity is not, which is why the Rise program partners with 30+ global organizations, including NBA Africa, the African Leadership Academy, HALI Network, and BUILD Nigeria, to scour the globe to find brilliant young people who are passionate about building a better world.

Over the last two years, a total of 11 Nigerian students have been selected as Rise Global Winners. Their projects include

Starting an international NGO to educate the public and solve pressing social issues including gender equality and gender laws in Nigeria;

Developing a program that offers teacher training programs, a student-centered curriculum as well as internship opportunities for students to receive quality computer science education in public and private schools;

Building robotics to automate tasks; and

Increasing access to STEM opportunities for Nigerian girls, among others.

“BUILD Nigeria is thrilled to continue growing our partnership with Rise in Nigeria as we work together to find and support the next generation of young problem-solvers looking to build a better world,” said Tolulope Olasewere, Co-Founder of Build Nigeria.

To celebrate the opening of applications, the ‘Rise To’ creative campaign invites brilliant young minds to continue to turn opportunities into action as they ‘Rise To’ face the world’s most pressing issues. Produced by Ogilvy, the campaign seeks to inspire and foster a global community of 15- to 17-year-olds invested in creating a better future. Rise has partnered with multi-platinum singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs, known for her viral track “River,” on a series of beautifully shot films and audio ads featuring 2021 Rise Global Winners. The ads will come to life across social media as well as on Spotify and are set to the tune of Brigg’s new single “superhuman.” The song, which was released today, is inspired by this new generation of young people and recognizes the superhumans that lie dormant in each of us.

“As a new parent, when I wrote “superhuman,” I was inspired by this brilliant up-and-coming generation,” said Bishop Briggs. “The Rise Global Winners’ dedication to building a better world truly exemplifies what the song is about — knowing you have the strength to continue on no matter what comes your way.”

Over the next two weeks, ‘Rise To’ will feature an integrated digital campaign showcasing the diverse brilliance of Rise Global Winners and inviting more to join the community. The activation will involve celebrating two years and 200 Global Winners across two iconic locations — Times Square in New York and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Winners featured in the ‘Rise To’ campaign include:

Rushank Goyal (India), who advocates against food adulteration in his community by conducting discussion sessions.

Leah Mtindya (Zambia), who spreads awareness among teenagers about sexual and reproductive health, trans healthcare, and domestic abuse.

Saoirse Exton (Ireland), who rewrote Irish mythology from a feminist perspective, foregrounding the strong characters that traditional narratives tended to suppress.

Artash Nath (Canada), who created a way to measure the effectiveness of COVID-19 lockdowns using seismic vibrations to track human movement.

Jennifer Uche (United States), who launched a podcast that highlights the importance of youth advocacy and the power of young people to change the world.

Rise Global Winners will receive individualized and flexible support to achieve their goals as they work to serve others. The program is designed to encourage a lifetime of service to develop innovative solutions to solve society’s hard problems. That’s why Rise provides all applicants, regardless of Winner status, with access to its global network, free online courses, and curated opportunities from partners. To stay up-to-date on the benefits available for Rise applicants each year, please read the Official Rise Challenge Rules by visiting

“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 of the 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 Eric Braverman, 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 — and each other.  We hope to make the longest bet we can imagine on exceptional talent with perseverance, integrity, and care for others.”

“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.”

All Rise Global Winners receive the following benefits upon selection:

Residential Summit: A fully-funded, three-week residential summit with other members of the Rise Global Winner cohort.

Global Winner Network: Access to the Rise Global Winners network to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, and collaborate.

Counseling and Career Support: Advice and support for applying to university and selecting a career

Programming: Access to specialized programs, courses, and other opportunities through Rise partners.

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.

Technology: A technology package, such as a laptop or tablet, to be determined annually.

In addition, all Rise Global Winners can apply for the following benefits:

Partner Network: Matching to programs, secondary school scholarships, internships, and other benefits from partners who are part of the Rise network.

Funding Opportunities: Apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas to address 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.

Education Support: Apply for scholarship funds for a graduate degree.

How to Apply?

The online applications are open on the Rise website and are available until January 25, 2023, at 16:59 GMT. For applicants without access to mobile technology, Rise works with its partners on the ground to offer alternative pathways through paper applications.

Rise provides applicants with multiple opportunities during the application process to showcase their potential through videos, projects, and group interviews. The application allows applicants to select projects most suited to their interests, abilities, and time availability.

The Rise 2023 Challenge has three stages:

Submission: Applicants introduce themselves through videos, create an individual project that demonstrates their talents and benefits their communities, and peer review other applicants’ projects, among other activities.

Interview: Rise then selects up to 500 Finalists to advance to “Finalist Days,” where they demonstrate their motivations, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

Global Winner Selection: From the Finalists, Rise selects 100 Global Winners to receive a lifetime of benefits as they work to serve others.

× How can we help you?