Wits student selected for prestigious international student award

Through Chulumanco Mahamba 1h ago

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Johannesburg – A student from Wits University has been selected in the top 50 for a new award given to an outstanding student who has had a real impact on learning, the lives of his peers and society beyond.

Obakeng Leseyane, 23, was selected from 3,500 applications and nominations from 94 countries, and was included in the list of the top 50 applicants for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021.

The prize is the twin prize of the Global Teacher Prize, launched by the Varkey Foundation, to create a new platform that highlights the efforts of extraordinary students from around the world who, together, are reshaping our world for the better.

Inspired by the power of education as an equalizer, the political and international relations student began hosting workshops and briefings in Rustenburg to help others access the same opportunities as him. Leseyane has organized digital events and campaigns that have encouraged over 300 students to enroll in high school or college.

Leseyane’s activism led him to be named ‘Young Leader to Watch’ by FastCompany South Africa, selected as the youngest inaugural Civil Service Fellow for Southern Africa, and he also won the Doha debates on water scarcity in 2019.

“In this age of Covid, students like Obakeng have shown great courage to keep studying and keep fighting for a better future despite enormous obstacles. The Global Student Prize was launched to highlight their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams, ideas and creativity that will help solve some of the greatest questions humanity has ever faced, ”said Lila Thomas, Director of Chegg.org.

Thomas added that this year’s finalists have made a huge impact in areas such as the environment, equality and justice, health and welfare, education and skills and the empowerment of people. youth to poverty eradication.

“It is only by prioritizing education that we will be able to safeguard all of our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence, ”said Varkey Foundation founder Sunny Varkey.

Going forward, Leseyane plans to serve in government as Minister of Education and in 2024 he intends to run as an MP. If he wins the Global Student Prize, he said he would use the funds to provide the children of Rustenburg with a new school uniform to build their social confidence and renew their dignity.

The top 10 finalists for the Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize will be announced in October. The winners of the two prizes will be chosen from the top 10 respective finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy and the Global Teacher Prize Academy, composed of prominent personalities. The winners are expected to be announced at an awards ceremony in Paris in November.


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