THREE Nigerians have been named among the top 50 finalists for the chegg.org’s Global Student Prize Award 2021- from over 3500 nominations and applications received across 94 countries.
They are Oluwadamilola Akintewe, a student of Law at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State; Esther Ajari, a student of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, and Blessing Akpan, a student of English Education at the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.
The Chegg.org’s Global Student Prize is a $100,000 award presented to an exceptional student, making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on the society at large.
Head of Chegg.org Lila Thomas said: “All our finalists represent the courageous and hardworking students all over the world that are fighting for their future.
“Despite the challenges of COVID, this generation of students have shown the kind of resilience and creativity that give us all hope as we confront the towering challenges ahead.”
The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists and Akintewe, who occupies ninth place, stands a chance to win the $100,000 price at an awards ceremony in Paris next month.
As an undergraduate, she has dedicated the past four years of her life to social impact. She is the first female team leader of Enactus, a global community of students, business leaders and professionals who use entrepreneurship to impact lives – for instance by helping low-income single mothers build entrepreneurial and craft skills.
Akintewe also founded Forbidden Topics, a campaign to break the silence about topics like sexual assault that often do not make it into the mainstream media and within a year, has built a 1000+ community on social media and shared stories of women and girls from 25+ countries.
In 2020, she was the youngest person to make the list of Top 100 Women creating a better Africa. In 2021, she was recognised as one of 30 under 30 Global Changemakers by Opportunity Desk, and won the inaugural Samantha Singh Award essay for young people aspiring to careers in development policy.
If announced winner of the global student prize, Akintewe hopes to use the money to fund her postgraduate professional training in Law School, so that she can do pro bono work for victims of sexual violence when she is eventually able to practise as a lawyer.
She will also be able to register Forbidden Topics as an NGO and fully set up its social enterprise aspect – a statement clothing line – using a percentage of the proceeds to better the lives of women and girls in rural communities of Nigeria and beyond.