Apply to Rise Program (15-17 Years old)



Published on 23 Nov, 2021
Ending on 22 Dec, 2021


2021 - 2022


What is Rise?

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 access to benefits that last a lifetime including scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems.

An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to find and support global talent.

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on exceptional people working to solve hard problems in science and society. The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act.

What makes Rise different?

Rise is for life. We offer benefits that last a lifetime, making this one of the largest award programs for individuals in the world.

Rise is a global community. We connect talent from over 170 countries, with inaugural Global Winners hailing from 42 countries across 6 continents.

Rise looks for brilliance. We look for hidden brilliance, in whatever form it takes, wherever it is in the world. From high school classrooms, to refugee camps, to
science fairs, we believe that brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. We’re on a mission to change the odds for the world’s most brilliant people from a young age and throughout their lives.

Who are Rise’s founders?

In 2019, Schmidt Futures co-founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt made a $1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support global talent.

Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, is the anchor program of that commitment. Rise builds on an existing partnership between Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, including the creation of the Schmidt Science Fellows program. Each organization has realized the power of building a network of exceptional talent, and this partnership allows them both for the first time to focus on reaching a younger audience between the ages of 15 and 17.

Who are Rise’s partners?

Rise depends on trusted partnerships with global institutions that have long been committed to identifying and supporting young people with the potential to build a better world.

We’ve developed collaborations with a broad variety of organizations in the public, private, and social sectors—including schools, universities, nonprofits, advocacy groups, businesses, and others. This network helps us find talented people who may go undiscovered or unsupported otherwise, and connect those future leaders to scholarships, internships, and opportunities around the world.

What are the benefits of applying to Rise?

Everyone who applies joins a global community of leaders and gains access to free online courses and opportunities from our partners around the world.
Finalists participate in educational and leadership courses, as an award from Rise, to level up their skills and grow their networks. They also gain access to additional funding opportunities to experiment with innovative ideas to solve our hardest challenges. There are 500 Finalists in 2021.

100 Global Winners receive benefits for life to help them scale their impact. These benefits include a needs-based college scholarship, invitation to a residential summit, and mentorship and career services, and could also include graduate scholarships and funding to start a social enterprise, depending on the quality of idea and need for support as they work to serve others.

What are the benefits for Rise Global Winners?

Benefits for Rise Global Winners take many shapes. The program is personalized and flexible, tailored to Global Winners’ needs as they evolve over time. We aim to provide Global Winners with individualized support to empower them to achieve their goals while they work to serve others throughout their lives.

All Rise Global Winners receive access to the following benefits and participate in the following programs upon selection:

●    Residential Summit: An invitation to attend a fully-funded, three-week residential summit with other members of the Rise Global Winner cohort—to be held in a rotating location globally for each new cohort—as well as to join network events in subsequent years.

●    Mentorship & Career Services: Mentors paired with each Global Winner to provide personal, academic, or professional guidance, and specialized career services for internships and jobs to be developed from 2022.

●    Programming: Access to specialized programs, courses, and fellowship opportunities through Rise partners. The Winners’ anchor program in 2021/22 is a Human Centered Design course designed for the Rise Winners by DC Design. Online courses are delivered on a specially designed learning platform being developed with High Resolves. Customized Global Winner courses on our online learning platform that has been developed together with High Resolves.

●    Global Winner Network: Access to a network of other Global Winners across cohorts to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, and collaborate together.

●    Higher Education Scholarships: A four-year, post-secondary scholarship at any accredited university, including tuition and a living stipend, based on need and where not already covered by financial aid.

●    Technology: Technology packages, such as laptops or tablets, to be determined each year.

In addition, all Rise Global Winners will have the opportunity to apply for the following benefits over their lifetime:

●    Partner Network: Opportunity to be matched to programs, secondary school scholarships, internships, and other benefits from partners who are part of the Rise network.

●    Funding Opportunities: Opportunity to apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas to address major problems in local communities or around the world—ranging from seed money to start a social enterprise to a grant for a non-profit. Funds will be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.

●    Education Support: Opportunity to apply for scholarship funds for a graduate degree.

Why does Rise exist?

The world’s most important problems will be solved by the next generation of leaders. Yet too often, the most brilliant people never realize their full potential for
global impact. Either they are never discovered, become isolated at a young age, lack access to opportunities to develop their ideas, or face social and economic barriers.

At the same time, systems for identifying talent—such as universities and employers—too often rely on existing, traditional networks. We’re leaving countless exceptional people on the sidelines.

Imagine if we could find those talented people, connect them to one another, and provide them with the opportunities they need to solve hard problems in science and society. That is the purpose of Rise.

Why does the program start at ages 15-17?

Research shows that there are thousands, if not millions, of brilliant people around the world who could have made a large impact had they been discovered and supported earlier in life.

Research also shows that the networks and information young people encounter in the final years of secondary school—before college or entering the workforce—are critical to shaping the direction of their lives. At this time in life, young people are full of creative ideas, unhindered by the reasons something can’t be done, and more willing to work collaboratively.

The world’s challenges are also bigger and more complex than ever. Today’s generation of young people confront climate change; lack of access to healthy food and safe water; educational setbacks due to COVID-19; and racial, gender, and other inequality. At the same time, we have better tools than ever to solve these problems. We need a new generation of leaders that can deal with the growing complexity of the world—and that can use the power of new tools and technologies to solve our greatest challenges.
We believe Rise can find exceptional people at this critical moment in their lives and empower them to build a better world. But we don’t just give them support once—we offer it over time, throughout their careers. That’s the power of Rise.


What is the Rise Challenge?

Each year, Rise invites 15-17 year olds from around the world to participate in the Rise Challenge. Unlike many traditional applications, Rise uses videos, projects, and group interviews so applicants have multiple opportunities to showcase their potential. For applicants without access to technology, we offer alternative low-tech pathways through web-browser and paper applications.

The Rise Challenge has three stages. Applicants introduce themselves through videos, create an individual project that demonstrates their talents and benefits their communities, and peer review other applicants’ projects, among other activities.

After applicants complete the Rise Challenge, Rise selects up to 500 Finalists to advance to “Finalist Days,” where they demonstrate their motivations,
problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

From the 500 Finalists, Rise selects 100 Global Winners to receive a lifetime of benefits as they work to serve others.

Who is eligible?

Applicants for the 2022 cohort must be between the ages of 15 and 17 as of July 1, 2022, meaning they are born on or between July 2, 2004, and July 1, 2007.

It does not matter what country they live in, background they come from, or academic experience they have. Whether they are interested in science, innovation, technology, art, policy, community organizing, or any other discipline—we want to hear from them.

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. We understand that economic barriers are not the only challenges that keep brilliant people from serving others throughout their lives.

What does Rise look for?

Rise Global Winners hail from around the world and demonstrate brilliance in a range of disciplines. Some may excel in STEM fields, others may show outstanding artistic ability, and others may have a gift for community service and organizing.

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. Brilliance and the need for opportunity are our starting points. Given the mission of the program, we also search carefully for perseverance, integrity, empathy (or compassion) and a calling to care for others.


Download Hello World

Start by downloading the “Hello World Network” mobile application in the Google Play or iOS App Store. (If you were sent a referral link by an organization or individual, please use that link to direct you to the app.)

Register, search for the Rise Challenge in the list of opportunities, and click “Start Opportunity.”

Can’t access the app?
If you cannot access the Hello World app—for example, if your device is not compatible or you have limited data—you can apply through a web-browser application pathway on a computer or mobile phone. Go to
If you do not have access to a device, email us for a paper application at

The Rise Challenge

Stage 1: Introduce Yourself

Deadline: December 22, 2021

The first stage of the Rise Challenge is all about getting to know you as an individual—your background, your brilliance, and your talents.

1.    Complete your Hello World Profile and the additional Rise form to tell us more about yourself.

2.    Record two videos in response to the prompts. You can take selfie videos or upload videos from your library—get creative! Don’t worry about being polished on your first try, as you can submit your response more than once. Others will see your videos, so think about what you want them to know about you.

3.    Watch and peer review other applicants’ videos. You must complete at least three peer reviews per video challenge. Use this process to think about how you might improve your own videos too.

4.    Attend optional workshops to strengthen your application and grow your skills throughout Stage 1 of the Challenge!

Once you complete Stage 1, you automatically unlock access to Stage 2. You will still be able to edit and resubmit your Stage 1 responses until December 22, 2021. If you don’t complete Stage 1 by December 22, you will not be able to access Stage 2.
Stage 2: Create Your Project

Deadline: February 16, 2022

The second stage of the Rise Challenge is an individual project that demonstrates your interests, abilities, and drive.

You could develop a new product, software service, or business; build a social or political movement; write a body of research; create a piece of music, art, performance, or film; or anything else. We want to see your brilliance—whatever form it takes!

1.    As you develop your project, record three videos in response to the prompts that showcase your research, design, and implementation.

2.    Fill out the Project Summary once you complete your videos.

3.    Join the Rise Discord Community to meet other community members, participate in activities and workshops, and share ideas about your project. Participating in the Rise Discord Community is optional, but strongly encouraged.

Stage 3: Finish the Challenge

Deadline: February 23, 2022

The third stage of the Rise Challenge includes project reviews and the Puzzle Quiz. You can do these activities in any order. You are so close to the finish line!

1.    Watch and peer review other applicants’ projects. You must peer review at least three projects, which each have three videos. This is nine videos in total.

2.    Take the Puzzle Quiz. This is a short quiz that prompts you with a series of questions. This is not the kind of quiz that you can study for, so just bring
yourself and do your best. You can only take the quiz once, and you cannot return to previous questions, so make sure you’re in a comfortable space without distractions

When you are done with all three stages, click “Finish the Challenge!”

Rise Finalists

June - July 2022

We select up to 500 Finalists to advance to Rise Finalist Days, where you will demonstrate your motivations, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

Rise Global Winners

Late 2022

We select and announce 100 Global Winners to join the cohort of 2022!