ALA Students Join Network of Rise’s Global Winners

We are excited to announce that two of our current students, Ifeoluwa Aigbiniode ‘20 (Nigeria) and Michael Olivier ‘21 (South Africa) have been selected as global winners by Rise. The pair will form part of this year’s cohort of young people who join a network of collaborative and innovative changemakers.

Rise is a program that supports young people between the ages of 15 and 17 years old as they work to serve others in their respective passion-driven fields. The program offers access to lifetime benefits including scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as global winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems. ALA and Rise have enjoyed a fruitful partnership thus far and we continue to support Rise through sharing the opportunity with students and educators across the African continent. 

Seventeen-year-old Ifeoluwa was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about feminism, entrepreneurship & technology. Ifeoluwa is a STEM enthusiast who co-created Not Alone – a mobile app, available on app stores, that offers support to people experiencing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in her home country at no cost. Not Alone also provides friends and families of patients experiencing depression, PTSD, Dementia and other mental disorders with information to help them to provide support and encouragement as needed.  After recognizing that there are serious gender disparities in the STEM field in Africa, she also recently co-founded an initiative called Star Girls Africa focused on creating an inclusive online community that encourages young African girls to pursue a career in STEM.

“I applied to be a part of the Rise fellowship because I wanted to join a global community of young changemakers. Being at ALA has truly helped me understand the importance and value of diversity. I was motivated to apply because I am really excited to collaborate with such a diverse group of people to create solutions that can impact thousands and even millions. I feel really excited to be chosen for this opportunity. I believe this program will be a critical part of my leadership journey.” Ifeoluwa remarks excitedly.

For Michael, this opportunity will serve as a catalyst for supporting his lifelong mission of equipping other young people with entrepreneurial skills. “I feel overjoyed and grateful to be chosen as a Rise winner amongst thousands of applicants. Reaching this far gives me the assurance that I have been placed on this earth for a greater purpose and I am excited to see where this opportunity takes me.” says Michael. Establishing a sense of purpose at the age of 18 is remarkable when one has context on Michael’s background. Born and raised in Bonteheuwel, a small township in the cape flats of Cape Town, Michael grew up in an environment gripped with crime, gang violence and drug abuse. This led him to found Teentrepreneurs, a social enterprise that aims to make entrepreneurship free and fun for anyone, anywhere through providing education and a network of other young budding entrepreneurs with the aim of overcoming adversity.

“I plan to use the connections I’ve made through the Rise fellowship to initiate projects that reach more youth and create better programs and opportunities for aspiring young entrepreneurs to make an impact.” Michael concludes.

Applications for Rise are still open until 22 December 2021. Applicants must be 15-17 years old as of July 1, 2022 and can apply via the button below.