Oluwadamilola Akintewe, a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo state, has been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Global Student Prize by Varkey Foundation.
In his congratulatory message, the Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said: “Congratulations to Olusegun, Adeola, Oluwadamilola, Blessing and Esther for reaching the final 50. Their stories highlight the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”
Also, while congratulating the shortlisted applicants, Lila Thomas, Administrator of Chegg.org commended the young men and women for their zeal and passion shown to keep studying and keep fighting for a better future despite huge obstacles.
“Our finalists this year have made a huge impact in areas from the environment to equality and justice, from health and wellbeing to education and skills, from youth empowerment to ending poverty. We were so inspired by the achievements of these extraordinary students throughout the world that applied for the inaugural Global Student Prize that Chegg chose to double the value of the prize to $100,000. Chegg.org is a supporter of the Global Teacher Prize and has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize,” she said.
Over 3,500 applications were received from 94 countries in the students’ category while for the teachers’ category, over 8,000 applications were received from 121 countries.
Speaking to this reporter, Oluwadamilola explained what she stands for, her motivations and her target if she wins. Describing her excitement for the global prize, she said she received the news with joy in her heart, saying that being one of the Nigerians shortlisted for the award makes her happy.
Oluwadamilola, who has been involved in social impact, volunteering, technology impact and the economic advancement of girls and young women never expected she would be shortlisted as one of the qualifiers saying: “You never know. The most important thing is to shoot your shot. I was proud of myself, so I applied and eventually, I was shortlisted.”
On what prompted her action to apply, she said: “I found out that the qualifications define me. I saw myself as a prospective winner and that was why I applied.”
She as a young person who is particular about development asserted she wanted a platform to tell her story to inspire other people.
The law student, who believes no one should be denied education or marginalised because of their social status, said her focus will be centred on those in rural communities if she eventually wins the prize.
“If I win, my focus will be finding women and young [people] opportunities. I will look for partnership with organisations to run more education, business and opportunities for children, girls and women in rural communities,” she said.
Oluwadamilola owns “Forbidden Topics”, a movement to smash the quietness around topics affecting women and children such as sexual assault and harassment. 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 the Opportunity Desk.
The 5 Nigerians shortlisted for the 2021 Global Prizes are:
1. Olusegun Adeniyi – Teacher.
2. Adeola Adefemi – Teacher.
3. Oluwadamilola Akintewe – Student.
4. Blessing Akpan – Student.
5. Esther Ajari – Student.
Oluwadamilola, who has just been shortlisted in the student category, will be competing with other finalists in the Student Global Prize to win a prize worth One Thousand Dollars. In November, the winners will be announced in Paris.
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