What You Didn’t Know About the Rise Challenge

December 6, 2022

If you haven’t heard about the Rise Challenge, listen up! 

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others.

An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to find and support global talent.

The 2022/2033 call for entry is underway and interested 15- to 17-year-olds can apply at http://bit.ly/risefortheworld 

But before you do, here are a few things you’ll need to know to help make your application more successful, and may the odds forever be in your favour:

  • Each year, Rise invites 15–17-year-olds from around the world to participate in the Rise Challenge. Unlike many traditional applications, Rise uses videos, projects, and group interviews so applicants have multiple opportunities to showcase their potential. 
  • For applicants without access to technology, there are also paper applications.
  • Rise is open to all young people between the ages of 15-17, and there are no limits or restrictions regarding the project focus areas, so creativity is most welcome.
  • Since its inception, over 12 Winners from Nigeria and of Nigerian descent have won the Rise challenge and awarded benefits.
  • Ikenna Nwafor, a Rise 2022 Winner, his project explored the dangers of cyber ignorance. For his Rise project, he developed and set up a website (Cybersecurity & You), performed a skit with friends on “The dangers of Cyber Ignorance” and set up awareness posters within his community to raise awareness among Nigerian teens. His project focuses on creating awareness of the importance of cybersecurity in the lives of teenagers in Nigeria.
  • Audrey Eyo, Rise 2021 Winner, also from Nigeria, is passionate about physical fitness, educational empowerment and community-oriented problem-solving. Her project is called Fit as a Fiddle, and centers around raising awareness for physical fitness for young children. Audrey experienced bullying in school due to her size, this affected her perception of healthy living and influenced her to associate guilt with food. As a result, she started Fit as a Fiddle, to create a judgement free, safe space for healthy living, for adolescents and young children. Her project also offers easy workouts, health advice, and an exercise glossary to raise awareness and debunk myths around healthy living. 
  • All winners receive access to a lifetime of benefits, including, needs-based scholarships, potential funding opportunities, and mentorship.
  • Rise cares not just about an applicant’s past achievements but future potential and ability to commit to a lifetime of service to others.
  • To apply to Rise, you’ll need to complete the application in the order in which they are listed on www.risefortheworld.org and answer questions via video or written format.
  • As part of the 100-day challenge, interested 15- to 17-year-olds will need to start an individual project early. 
  • The project should showcase the applicants’ brilliance, passion, and skills. The project can be a new product, software service, or business; a social or political movement; a piece of music, art, or film, but also think of creative ways your project can help your community.
  • At each step of the application process, applicants will be asked to share their experience by documenting work they’ve completed through videos. 
  • Rise values integrity and honesty, so as part of the process, applicants are required review projects of their peers and help discover which members of the Rise community are doing great work. Peer responses can be edited until the due date
  • According to Rise year 1 winner, Audrey Eyo, although Rise application is set up as a challenge, and may feel overwhelming at different stages, whatever your project idea is, it is not too small or insignificant. Just make sure that you are truly passionate about the problem area you choose and the target audience you are serving. 
  • Do not try to choose a problem that you believe suits the “ideal Rise candidate” or try to “impress” Rise. Instead, demonstrate your willingness and commitment towards your project, your brilliance will shine through.
  • Lastly, the deadline for applications is January 25th, 2023, however as Rise is a 100-day challenge, applicants are advised to start the application process as earliest as possible to ensure enough time to immerse themselves in the experience, engage with fellow applicants and complete the challenge.

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