Mississauga student top 10 finalist for a $100K international youth award


Published September 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

kenisha arora
Photo by UNESCO / C. Alix

Kenisha Arora, a 19-year-old student from Mississauga, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022.

The $100,000 award is given to one exceptional student who has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

Arora was born in New Delhi, India and her family moved to Canada, first Montreal, when she was a baby. She has lived in Mississauga since she was nine years old and graduated from Glenforest Secondary School, serving as a student trustee in her final year.

She enters her third year at Western University studying medical sciences this fall.

Arora was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications from 150 countries around the world.

Winning the Chegg.org Global Student Prize “would just mean the world,” Arora told inSauga.

Arora’s list of volunteer and service work is long.

She is a senator at Western University and chair of the Student Senate, enacting sustainability reform at her university.  She helped provide free menstrual hygiene products in the Peel District School Board which inspired the Minister of Education to invest in free menstrual hygiene products in all school boards across Ontario.

Arora and her sister Aliasha founded the non-profit The HopeSisters, she is on the UNESCO Youth Network, and is a youth representative on the United Nations high-level steering committee on education.

The award has some star power behind it. Last year, actor and humanitarian Hugh Jackman announced the winner. This year, the judging academy includes actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, soccer player Julie Ertz, and philanthropist, activist and entrepreneur Cynthia Germanota.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Kenisha,” said Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation. “Her 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 Varkey Foundation partnered with Chegg.org to launch the Global Student Prize last year, a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

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 U.S.; Igor Klymenko, from Ukraine; Lucas Tejedor, from Brazil; Mathias Charles Yabe, from Ghana; 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.

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