UI first public university to partner with program that identifies exceptionally talented youth

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Image from University of Iowa webpage.
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Rise Global winners could now receive scholarships to UI

By Office of Strategic Communication, Iowa Now

The University of Iowa is the first public university in North America to partner with Rise, an initiative that finds promising young people and provides them with opportunities that allow them to work together to serve others over their lifetimes. Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to find and support global talent. 

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Working with the Rhodes Trust at Oxford University, Rise identifies young people aged 15-17 who have world-changing ideas and solutions and provides them with support, including higher education scholarships, potential seed funding, and networking. Up to 100 promising young people worldwide are selected as Rise Global Winners each year and the partnership opens the door for these winners to attend the University of Iowa. 

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“This new partnership is a reflection of the truly world-class comprehensive education offered by the University of Iowa,” says UI Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel. “From writing to health care to research, the work being done here by our extraordinary community of students, faculty, and staff continues to break barriers and raise the bar of human knowledge.” 

Founded in 2019, Rise aims to empower the next generation of leaders to realize their potential, working with more than 60 global partners, including 15 universities like MIT and the University of Chicago to help jumpstart students on their path. 

The 2023 Rise Global Winners include the program’s first-ever winners from Bangladesh, Cuba, Jordan, and Uganda, representing 43 nationalities. 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 the amount of 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 more.

The program provides benefits that may include the following:

  • Residential summit: One fully-funded, in-person residential summit with other Rise Global Winners from their cohort. Attendance at this summit is required to maintain Global Winner status.
  • Higher education scholarships: A four-year, post-secondary scholarship, including tuition and a living stipend, based on need and where not already covered by financial aid.
  • Funding for ideas on a competitive basis: Opportunity to apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas to address major problems in local communities or around the world, ranging from the seed money to start a social enterprise to a grant for a non-profit. Funds will be available competitively to winners and finalists.
  • Network matching: Access to a network of other Global Winners, community members, and partner organizations, as well as career development programming.
  • Starter technology packages: A technology package, such as a laptop or tablet, to be determined and issued immediately before or during the first semester/term of post-secondary education.
  • Everyone who applies to Rise, from anywhere in the world, gains a network of peers, and a curated offering of opportunities from Rise’s partners around the world. To learn more and apply to the Rise challenge, visit: https://www.risefortheworld.org/apply-to-rise 

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