Three Indians have been selected from around 7,000 applications across 150 countries for the 2022 shortlist, an annual $100,000 award by Chegg.org – the non-profit arm of education technology company Chegg.
Anagha Rajesh, a 20-year-old student at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Goa, Oshin Puri, a 22-year-old student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh, and Shreya Hegde, a 19-year-old high school graduate from Bangalore are among this year’s top 50 in the running on a list unveiled last week. Besides the Indians, several Global Indian students are also in the running – including Anjali Narayanan from Texas, Dev Aditya from the UK, Gitanjali Rao from Colorado and Kenisha Arora from Canada.
The prize, partnered by UK-headquartered Varkey Foundation, is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an institution or training and skills program. Part-time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.
“Since its launch last year, the Global Student Prize has given incredible students all over the world a chance to share their stories, connect with each other, and reach influencers in education and beyond,” said Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg.
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“Now, more than ever, students like Anagha, Oshin, and Shreya deserve to have their stories told and have their voices heard. After all, we need to harness their dreams, their insights, and their creativity to tackle the daunting and urgent challenges facing our world,” he said.
The 2022 finalists have been selected for making an impact across diverse areas. Anagha Rajesh, a , storyteller and community builder, has been selected for work on multiple projects ranging from nutrition to nuclear tech, from mental health advocacy to entrepreneurship.
“This is truly a recognition of the effort that my family has poured into giving me the best possible opportunities for personal growth. I plan to make the most of this platform to make personalised mental health resources accessible to more and more young people with the help of my team at Yours Mindfully,” said Rajesh, Founder and CEO of youth-led mental health non-profit Yours Mindfully.
Oshin Puri is an -winning physician-scientist in training and has made several positive contributions towards society through his volunteer work and public health initiatives and as Chief Editor of the ‘Journal of Asian Medical Students Association’.
"It's a privilege to get an opportunity to work with my fellow young changemakers and break the stigma around mental health, especially for the global student community," said Puri.
The third Indian finalist, Shreya Hegde, was just 17 when admitted to the MIT Entrepreneurship Program, doing original research in gravitational waves, paleobiology, and computer graphics and received stipends/full scholarships for everything. She spent many years in donation drives, conducting surveys, and teaching in Indian villages English, math, and mentored them on projects.
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“Every child has the right to quality education, and through this platform, I can connect with others to reach even more underprivileged children,” said Hegde.
The top 10 finalists of this year’s Global Student Prize are expected to be announced in August this year and the winner will be chosen from amongst them by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.
Students in the running are assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.