Youth Talent Program Supported by Eric and Wendy Schmidt Seeks Extraordinary 15-17-Year-Olds Committed to Tackling World’s Most Pressing Issues

Schmidt Futures and Rhodes Trust, supported by Australia’s Public Education Foundation, launch Global “Rise” Program to find the Next Generation of Leaders and Support them for Life.

Schmidt Futures, in partnership with The Rhodes Trust, announced the opening of applications for Rise, a new global talent program to find outstanding young people who need opportunity, and support them for life as they use their talents to build a better world. Rise is the anchor program of a broader $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

The Public Education Foundation (PEF) is proud to partner with Rise to extend this exciting opportunity to young people across Australia. PEF is Rise’s inaugural Australian partner, building on its existing support of high-potential young Australians experiencing need. PEF will harness its extensive network of Australian students, teachers, principals and administrators to ensure the Rise opportunity is shared with as many young Australians as possible.

Rise seeks to identify talented young people, ages 15 to 17, from around the world who have the potential to use their talents to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. The program will build a global community of rising leaders, connecting everyone who applies with peers around the world, free learning resources, and access to additional opportunities from the Rise network of partners. Additionally, each year, Rise will select 100 Global Winners and provide them with a lifetime of personalized support—including scholarships, mentorship, career services, and access to funding to develop their ideas—as they work together to serve others.

Rise is working with dozens of global partners—from schools to businesses to local governments—to identify and support talented young people in communities throughout the world.

”Many thousands of impressive young people are missed by conventional talent-spotting channels,” said David Hetherington, Executive Director of the Public Education Foundation. “At PEF, our focus has always been on Australian youth at the intersection of potential and need; we believe Rise will enable these young Australians to join an equally talented group of global peers to address the problems and challenges of tomorrow.”

“We are living in a time of both significant global challenges and unique global opportunities,” said Eric Schmidt, Co-founder of Schmidt Futures. “With the launch of Rise, we hope to identify and empower the next generation of brilliant leaders around the world in a way that has never been done before. We’ll harness the power of technology to find talented young people who would otherwise go undiscovered or unsupported, connect them in a global community, and give them the resources to use their talents for good throughout their lives.”

“Today’s young people will face a rapidly changing world of challenges on a scale unprecedented in human history,” said Wendy Schmidt, Co-founder of Schmidt Futures. “Through this ambitious program, we hope to engage tomorrow’s leaders across the globe, providing education and unique opportunities for them to identify problems, solutions, and ways they can work together, for a lifetime, in the service of humanity.”

“Rise is an incredible opportunity to identify talent early and to nurture public-spirited young people who have the potential to do extraordinary things,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, Warden and CEO of the Rhodes Trust.“Whether it is the importance of being part of an innovative community for moments of intense challenge such as COVID, or sharing insights and expertise in order to tackle longerstanding issues such as climate change, the network of Rhodes Scholars is remarkable and I have every confidence that Rise will be similarly powerful in terms of moral engagement and mutual support.”

“Too often we give opportunity to brilliant young people in need and then walk away,” said Eric Braverman, CEO of Schmidt Futures. “Rise is the first program of this scale anywhere in the world to create opportunities for this extraordinary talent for life—because the world’s biggest problems need sustained attention.”

“Today it is even more important that bonds of knowledge and friendship are shared across continents and countries,” said Professor Sir John Bell GBE, Chairman of the Rhodes Trustees and Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford. “Rise allows young people to forge a supportive and lifelong community and will help them make transformative change both locally and globally across all sectors.”

Rise Application Process

Through 29 January 2021, young people aged 15 to 17 as of July 1, 2021 can apply to Rise through Hello World – Rise, a global, mobile-first platform available on Google Play and the iOS App Store. In the northern spring of 2021, up to 500 finalists will be selected to participate in a virtual interview.

The Rise application is designed to identify potential, rather than evaluating applicants solely on grades or test scores. Rise looks for brilliant applicants who also demonstrate perseverance, empathy, and integrity—and who have a calling to make the world better and need an extra boost to make their ideas a reality.

All applicants will have access to free online courses on leadership, personal growth, and professional development from experts around the world who will help guide young people through their project. Young people without access to the Hello World app can also apply through other low-tech pathways. For more information about how to apply, visit

Rise Global Winners

Rise will announce its first cohort of 100 Rise Global Winners in July 2021.

Rise Global Winners will attend a summit to develop their leadership skills and explore service opportunities. They will receive a technology package, along with access to exclusive learning opportunities and need-based financial support for education and internships. As they enter the workforce, they’ll receive mentorship and career services. If their work serves their community, they’ll be eligible to apply for funding to support that work. If they have an idea for a social enterprise, they’ll be able to compete for investment capital that has the potential to increase as they show positive results. Throughout their lives, they’ll be part of a global community of leaders and have early access to additional educational and funding opportunities through the network of Rise partners, including universities, businesses, and nonprofits.

For Australian media inquiries, contact: Miriam Valero,, 0452 653 381

PEF’s Executive Director, David Hetherington, is available for interview.

For more information about Rise, visit:

For global media inquiries, contact:

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talent together into networks, bets on the most promising ideas through competition, and equips people to scale through partners and thoughtful application of modern tools.

About the Rhodes Trust

The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act. The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards providing transformative educational opportunities. Established in 1903, they are the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious  international graduate scholarship program in the world. Nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, education, the arts, NGOs, commerce, research and other sectors. They are well known advocates for expanded social justice, and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine.

About the Public Education Fund (PEF)

The Public Education Foundation works in collaboration with Australian schools, communities, business and governments to provide equity and excellence scholarships for students and educators in public education; and enhance the value and reputation of public education.