Two UAE teenagers named in top 50 for $100,000 Global Student Prize

Top 10 finalists announced in August this year

Amiteash Paul, a 19-year-old student originally from Kolkata, India, currently studies biology at New York University Abu Dhabi. Photo: Amiteash Paul
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Two UAE teenagers have been named in the worldwide top 50 shortlist for the $100,000 Global Student Prize 2022.

The award, now in its second year, highlights the work of exceptional pupils and students making an impact on learning and the world.

Amiteash Paul, a 19-year-old student originally from Kolkata, India, studies biology at New York University Abu Dhabi, and Maya Bridgman, a 17-year-old Canadian studying at Dubai College in Al Sufouh, have been included in the top 50 shortlist for the prestigious prize.

The two teenagers were selected from among close to 7,000 nominations and applications from 150 countries.

The Varkey Foundation launched the Global Student Prize last year — a student equivalent of the annual $1 million teacher prize.

Ms Bridgman is a pupil at Dubai College who is passionate about increasing the accessibility of computer science, artificial intelligence and machine learning for all pupils, regardless of their age, gender, location, income and experience.

She established the Dubai AI Society which has now grown into a global community of more than 600 pupils across four continents.

Maya Bridgman, a pupil at Dubai College, is passionate about improving the accessibility of computer science and artificial intelligence for all pupils.

Mr Paul, a champion for people who have disabilities, is passionate about applying science to solve environmental problems and encouraging students and the community to follow waste segregation and recycling practices to improve conservation of resources and sustainability.

The student has won awards, including the Dewa-KHDA Conservation Award for successfully lowering energy and water wastage in school.

He organised workshops on waste segregation for Indian workers in the UAE, which won him the Non-Resident Indian of The Year Award in 2018 from Times Network Group and the ICICI Bank.

Dan Rosensweig, chief executive of Chegg, said the Global Student Prize gives students all over the world a chance to share their stories, connect with each other and reach influencers in education.

“Our finalists this year have made a huge impact in areas from the environment to equality and justice, from health and well-being to education and skills, from youth empowerment to ending poverty," he said.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said: “I extend my warmest congratulations to Amiteash and Maya. Their stories are a testament to the crucial role that education plays in building a better tomorrow for us all. It is the key to solving humanity’s greatest challenges, from war and conflict to climate change to growing inequality."

The top 10 finalists of the Global Student Prize are expected to be announced in August.

Pupils and students are assessed on their academic achievements, impact on peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, as well as overcoming odds and demonstrating creativity.

It is open to all pupils 16 and above and college students enrolled in an academic institution or training programme. Part-time students, as well as students enrolled in online courses, can also apply.

Updated: July 22, 2022, 6:58 AM