Sabahan student made final 10 list for Global Student Prize

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Alesyah was chosen out of 50 young people from Sabahan to receive the special national day award for making Sabah proud around the world.

KOTA KINABALU (September 1): Sabahan student Alesyah Asa has been named among the 10 finalists for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022, a prize of $100,000 (RM448,400) to be given to an outstanding student who has had a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

The 20-year-old born and raised in the village of Nabawan, currently studying construction technology at Keningau Vocational College, was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications from 150 countries around the world.

Last year, the Varkey Foundation partnered with Chegg.org to launch the Global Student Prize, a sister prize to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize. It was created to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students around the world who, together, are reshaping our world for the better.

The award is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an educational institution or training and skills program. Part-time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the award.

Alesyah has led a number of school initiatives focused on vocational students and learners with special needs.

Its mission is to inspire women to excel in traditionally male-dominated professional fields.

As one of the few female students enrolled in her course, she represented her department in several competitions and mentored other female students to do the same. Alesyah led a STEAM project at her school that trained peers and teachers in robotics, drones, 3D printing and entrepreneurship, which was recognized by America’s Awesome Foundation, becoming the first recipient of her $1,000 STEAM grant.

She also initiated an international exchange program between her school and several schools in South Korea.

She led an all-female school team that won the community innovation award at the Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon, co-organized by UNESCO and the Republic of Korea. His team has helped combat misinformation related to Covid-19 by educating the public about fake news and hoaxes through a set of strategies that have helped communities better research, analyze and evaluate information.

Through her work, Alesyah has advocated for women, vocational students, students from rural areas, and people with disabilities to increase their educational opportunities.

“I didn’t expect to be selected among the 10 finalists, but I’m very happy,” said the young Murut.

If she wins, Alesyah plans to use the prize money to invest in “Eureka Hub” – her science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) project that trains peers and teachers in robotics, drones , 3D printing and entrepreneurship.

She also wants to improve school infrastructure and further develop her project to fight disinformation on Covid-19.

She added that she would lead programs to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in her community if she won the award.

On Wednesday, she received a special National Day award from the Sabah State Government in conjunction with state-level National Day celebrations here.

Special National Day Awards were introduced by the state government this year for Sabahans who have excelled at the international level.

Alesyah was chosen from among 50 Sabahan youths who have made Sabah proud around the world.

Dan Rosensweig, CEO and President of Chegg, said:
“Since its launch last year, the Global Student Prize has given incredible students around the world a chance to share their stories, connect with each other and reach influencers in education and beyond. Now more than ever, students like Alesyah deserve to have their stories told and their voices heard. After all, we must harness their dreams, ideas and creativity to meet the daunting and pressing challenges facing our world.

Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:
“I send my warmest congratulations to Alesyah. Her story bears witness to the crucial role education plays in building a better future for all of us. It’s the key to solving humanity’s greatest challenges, from war and conflict to climate change and growing inequality. As time is running out to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is more important than ever to prioritize education so that we can face the future with confidence.

The other 10 finalists for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022 are Anagha Rajesh, from India; Gitanjali Rao, from the United States; Igor Klymenko, from Ukraine; Kenisha Arora, from Canada; Lucas Tejedor, from Brazil; Mathias Charles Yabe, from Ghana; Maya Bridgman, UAE; Nathan Nguyen, from Australia; and Nicolás Alberto Monzón, from Argentina.

The winner is expected to be announced later this month during the week of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Applications and nominations for this year’s Global Student Prize opened on Thursday 27 January and closed on Sunday 1 May. Students are assessed on their academic achievement, their impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds of success, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they act as citizens of the world.

Actor and humanitarian Hugh Jackman announced last year’s winner, Jeremiah Thoronka, in November 2021.

Jeremiah, a 21-year-old student from Sierra Leone, started a start-up called Optim Energy that turns the vibrations of vehicles and pedestrians on the roads into electric current. With just two devices, the start-up provided free electricity to 150 homes comprising around 1,500 citizens, as well as 15 schools attended by over 9,000 students.

If students were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why. The nominated student then received an email inviting him to apply for the award. Candidates were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. To join the conversation online, follow @cheggdotorg






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