Mathias Charles Yabe, from Accra, Ghana, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022, a $100,000 award to be given to one exceptional student that has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.
Mathias, a 22-year-old student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,
was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications from 150 countries around the world.
The Varkey Foundation partnered with Chegg.org to launch the Global Student Prize last year, a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize. It was established to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who, together, are reshaping our world for the better. The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills program. Part-time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.
Mathias Charles Yabe is a multi-award-winning, internationally recognized social entrepreneur whose life’s mission is to create resilient food systems and introduce climate-smart solutions in local communities across Africa. He is co-founder and CEO of AkoFresh, an AgriTech startup that offers smallholder farmers sustainable crop preservation services to reduce the issue of postharvest losses and ensure resilient food systems. AkoFresh is reducing post-harvest losses, alleviating poverty, and improving nutrition.
Mathias’s innovation for AkoFresh is a mobile solar powered cold storage preservation technology that extends the shelf life of perishable crops from five days to 21 days, helping farmers store perishable crops over five times longer than their shelf life in ambient temperatures and therefore reduce losses by 50%. The solution is fully powered by solar energy which makes the solution affordable, accessible to rural areas and has a reduced environmental footprint.
During the pandemic, Mathias also pioneered the development of a disability-friendly virtual learning platform for hearing impaired students to study during school closures, directly impacting the lives of 250 deaf high school students.
Dan Rosensweig, CEO and president of Chegg, said:
“Since its launch last year, the Global Student Prize has given incredible students all over 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 Mathias deserve to have their stories told and have their voices heard. After all, we need to harness their dreams, their insights, and their creativity to tackle the daunting and urgent challenges facing our world.”
Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:
“I extend my warmest congratulations to Mathias. His story is 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. As time runs out to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is more important than ever to prioritize education so we can face the future with confidence.”
The other top 10 finalists for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022 are Alesyah Asa, from Malaysia; Anagha Rajesh, from India; Gitanjali Rao, from the US; Igor Klymenko, from Ukraine; Kenisha Arora, from Canada; Lucas Tejedor, from Brazil; Maya Bridgman, from the UAE; Nathan Nguyen, from Australia; and Nicolás Alberto Monzón, from Argentina. The winner is expected to be announced later this month during UN General Assembly week 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 being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.
Actor and humanitarian Hugh Jackman announced last year’s winner, Jeremiah Thoronka, in November 2021. Jeremiah, a 21-year-old student from Sierra Leone, launched a start-up called Optim Energy that transforms vibrations from vehicles and pedestrian footfall on roads into an electric current. With just two devices, the start-up provided free electricity to 150 households comprising around 1,500 citizens, as well as 15 schools where more than 9,000 students attend.
If students were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why. The student being nominated was then sent an email inviting them to apply for the prize. Applicants were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. To join the conversation online follow @cheggdotorg
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