Pearson College is one of 18 United World Colleges (UWC) partnering with a new initiative to provide more opportunities for refugees and support young people who are working to fix pressing global issues.
The Rise initiative is a new global talent program, anchoring a broader $1 billion commitment by philanthropic company Schmidt Futures, that seeks to fully support outstanding youth who have innovative ideas on how to build a better world.
Part of the initiative includes providing full scholarships to 15 students with refugee backgrounds to attend Pearson College, or another UWC school, over the next three years. Located on Pedder Bay, the two year boarding school is part of a global education movement that works to create “a deliberately diverse group of young people.”
Education opportunities for refugees have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 as many have been displaced or forced out of school. In September, the UN reported that half of the world’s refugee children were out of school.
“When people are turned into ‘refugees’ their dignity is compromised, their potential obscured and their possibilities locked up,” said Musimbi Kanyoro, chair of UWC International. “By supporting their education, we reaffirm their humanity and unlock their power for self-reflection, learning and leading change.”
More broadly, Rise is looking for youth aged 15 to 17 to apply to its program by Jan. 29, 2021. The program specifies it’s looking beyond grades and test scores – it wants “brilliant applicants who also demonstrate perseverance, empathy, and integrity” and “who have a calling to make the world better and need an extra boost to make their ideas a reality.”
Following the January deadline, an eight-month selection process will begin during which applicants showcase their qualities and ideas through a short video, a two-month individual project and a presentation. In spring of 2021, up to 500 finalists will be selected for a virtual interview.
The first cohort of 100 Rise Global Winners will be announced in July 2021 and provided with financial support, online courses and mentorship to put their ideas into action. Interested youth can apply to Rise through the Hello World-Rise platform.