Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, have today announced the second cohort of 100 Rise Global Winners, five of whom are Kenyans.

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. It is the flagship program of Schmidt Futures and the anchor of a broader $1 billion philanthropic commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to talent development across their initiatives.

Rise collaborated with organizations such as NBA Africa, the HALI Access Network, KenSAP, and Akili Dada. The partnerships support the youth in applying and provide exciting programming opportunities, which contributed to the second year of success across the country.

The five Kenya winners are:

1. Edith Chemutai from Thika, Kenya: Edith started a movement on water conservation and created a water filtration system that reduced the dirty water swamp behind her school. She aims to curb water shortage in the world and develop better conservation and purification methods.

2. James Nyaga Ngatia from Nairobi, Kenya: James is working to create an app called iGuide, which aims to eradicate pornography.

3. Marietta Halima Kazungu from Kilifi, Kenya: Marietta developed the Rapidcovix Breathalyzer to help those in rural areas who cannot afford the expensive costs of testing better detect infectious diseases.

4. Natasha Njoki Ndai from Kahawa West, Kenya: Natasha created an environmentalist’s club that aims to show people that cleaning and taking care of the environment is not a punishment; rather it can encourage teamwork and create awareness as well as be enjoyable.

5. Wema Wambugo Marandu from Nairobi, Kenya: Wema’s Rise project aims to develop a reading culture by using storybooks and stocking up libraries in underprivileged communities in Kenya.

The complete list of Winners can be found here.

“Our partnership with Rise supports our mission to nurture young Kenyan women into transformative African leaders,” said Diana Njuguna, Head of Programs for Akili Dada. “We are truly proud of the Kenyan Rise Global Winners, which include two young women from Akili Dada’s vibrant network. We celebrate this milestone and can’t wait to see them actualize their brilliance, gifts, and passions driving social change in service of the continent and the globe.”

Since its inception, Rise has welcomed over 150,000 people from over 170 countries to its community and has selected 200 winners from 69 countries of origin. From over 120,000 registrants, the 2022 Winners were selected after a rigorous application process which included peer and expert review of service projects, formal assessments of talent, and group interviews. The 2022 Global Winners stood out not only for their impactful projects spanning from medical innovation to mental health and education but also for their strength in overcoming adversity.

Everyone who applies to Rise joins a global community and gains access to opportunities from partners in at least 40 countries across the world. The latest Rise Global Winners receive additional personalized support including need-based scholarships, mentorship, career development opportunities, potential funding for future ventures, and technology packages. This is meant to empower them to achieve their goals as they work to serve others.

Applications for the next class will open in October 2022. For more information about how to apply, go here.

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. The program starts at ages 15–17 and offers a lifetime of benefits including scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, and funding.