Organizers double value of award from $50k to $100k due to the extraordinary quality of applications

Aya Yousef, a 21-year-old architecture student at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021, a new $100,000 award to be given to one exceptional student that has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

Aya, shortlisted for the Global Student Prize 2021, was selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world. 

The Varkey Foundation launched the Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year, a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who, together, are reshaping our world for the better. The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills program. Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.

Together, the Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize will tell inspirational stories from both sides of education. The prizes will shine a spotlight on the great work teachers do in preparing young people for the future and the amazing promise some of the brightest students are showing in their learning and far beyond.

Chegg.org has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize. Lila Thomas, Head of Chegg.org, said:

“In this age of COVID, students like Aya have shown great courage to keep studying and keep fighting for a better future despite huge obstacles. The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams, their insights and their creativity that will help solve some of the greatest questions humanity has ever faced.

“Our finalists this year have a made a huge impact in areas from the environment to equality and justice, from health and wellbeing to education and skills, from youth empowerment to ending poverty.

“We were so inspired by the achievements of these extraordinary students throughout the world that applied for the inaugural Global Student Prize that Chegg chose to double the value of the prize to $100,000.”

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to Aya for reaching the final 50. Her story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

Aya Yousef, an architecture student at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. But her tough beginnings ignited her passion for having a positive impact on all those around her. Aya knew she would not be able to afford to go to university, so she worked hard to obtain a scholarship. Now a student at the American University of Beirut, she guides other students through the scholarship and university application process, by visiting schools and through the award-winning online platform she co-founded, ToRead. Aya also works with UN programmes to mentor young people around the world and help advance the SDGs.

Applications and nominations for this year’s student and teacher prizes opened on Tuesday 2 February and closed on Sunday 16 May. Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens. 

Following today’s announcement, the top 10 finalists of both the Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize will be announced in October this year. The winners of both prizes will be chosen from the respective top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy and the Global Teacher Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals. The winners are due to be announced at an awards ceremony in Paris in November. 

If students or teachers were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why. The student or teacher being nominated was then sent an email letting them know they had been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.   Applicants were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. To join the conversation online follow @TeacherPrize and @cheggdotorg

Notes

  1. The Varkey Foundation believes every child deserves a vibrant, stimulating learning environment that awakens and supports their full potential. The foundation believes nothing is more important to achieving this than the passion and quality of teachers. They support global teaching capacity and seed excellence and innovation in the next generation of educators. They also founded the Global Teacher Prize to shine a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world. For further details: www.varkeyfoundation.org
  • Chegg.org is the impact, advocacy, and research arm of Chegg addressing the issues facing the modern student. For more information, visit www.chegg.org  
  • Chegg: Millions of people Learn With Chegg. We strive to improve educational outcomes by putting the student first. We support students on their journey from high school to college and into their careers with tools designed to help them learn their course materials, succeed in their classes, and save money on required materials, and learn the most in-demand skills. Our services are available online, anytime and anywhere. Chegg is a publicly held company based in Santa Clara, California, and trades on the NYSE under the symbol CHGG. For more information, visit www.chegg.com  ​

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