Two Nigerians Among 100 Newly Announced 2023 Rise Global Winners

Two Nigerians Among 100 Newly Announced 2023 Rise Global Winners

Schmidt Futures, in collaboration with the Rhodes Trust, announced the 2023 cohort of Rise Global Winners including two Nigerians and launched a new application cycle for the 2023-2024 Rise Challenge.

Rise is a program that finds promising young people, aged 15-17, and provides them with opportunities that allow them to work together to serve others over their lifetimes.

Two Nigerian Winners were selected as 2023 Rise Global Winners:
● Abigail Ojonugwa Labija (Gboko) developed a prototype of a water purification system that can provide more access to clean drinking water for her community during drier months of the year.
● Orimoloye Moyinoluwa David (Oniru) created a mobile application for local supermarkets that offers consumers a chance to purchase goods remotely, thereby reducing in-store congestion and improving store marketing.

Over the last three years, a total of 13 Nigerian students have been selected as Rise Global Winners. A complete list of Winners can be found at

Founded in 2019, Rise is the flagship program of a $1 billion commitment by Eric and Wendy Schmidt across their philanthropic organizations and initiatives to find and support global talent. Rise collaborates with more than 60 partners from around the globe to identify and nurture talent from communities worldwide. Partners in Nigeria include BUILD Nigeria and Ingressive for Good, among others.

“With a BUILD Nigeria alumnus as a Rise Global Winner, we have seen first-hand the impact that the Rise Challenge has on building up young people and expanding access to the resources and network they need to make the world a better place,” said Claire Utomi, Chief Operating Officer at BUILD Nigeria.

“BUILD Nigeria remains committed to supporting young leaders in achieving the fullness of their aspirations and firmly believes in the power of Rise to help young Nigerians do just that.”

The 2023 Rise Global Winners include the program’s first-ever Winners from Bangladesh, Cuba, Jordan, and Uganda, totaling 43 nationalities represented by the 2023 cohort.

This year’s winners are exceptionally talented and motivated young people who are changing the world through ideas and solutions such as an electrochemical pipe scale accelerator to decrease lead and copper corrosion in water; a biodegradable plastic using corn or cassava starch; a functioning reusable glucose monitor applicator that reduces the environmental impact of people with diabetes; a wearable device for dementia patients; and much more.

“We are excited to welcome a new cohort of 100 passionate young people to the Rise Global Winner community,” said Wendy Schmidt, who with her husband Eric is funding the Rise program. “Their ideas—from helping rice farmers transition to renewable energy to creating a biodegradable plastic from cassava starch—are the sparks that we hope will ignite a lifelong commitment to each other and to a better future for us all.”

With its global partners ranging from educational institutions to businesses and local governments, Rise identifies talented 15-17-year-olds and supports them as they leverage their ideas, energy, and initiative to solve the problems facing society and our natural world. Rise aims to empower the next generation of leaders to realize their tremendous potential and commitment to serve others throughout their lives.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, commented: “At the Rhodes Trust we are passionate about the power of young people to lead transformational change. The latest cohort of Rise Global Winners shows that this confidence is well founded, and we look forward to welcoming them all to our intergenerational and international community of people who want to make a positive difference.”

Additionally, starting on September 28, Rise opened its fourth application cycle, inviting young people ages 15 to 17 (as of July 1, 2024) to apply for the 2023-2024 Rise Challenge through January 17, 2024.


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