Newcastle student in California now finalist in Global Student Prize

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A now American student hailing from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Global Student Prize 2022. The annual prize of $100,000 is awarded to one exceptional student who has made a tangible impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

Partnering with The Varkey launched the annual Global Student Prize last year, a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

The goal behind the project is 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.

The 19-year-old, Iziphozonke Mlambo, was chosen from among 7 000 nominations and applicants from 150 countries.

Suffering from a weak immune system as a child, Iziphozonke was often in and out of hospital. This inspired him to pursue a career in medicine, after seeing doctors working valiantly on the front line.

Looking to the present, Iziphozonke currently studies Human Biology at Biola University in California, United States of America.

Additionally, Iziphozonke is the co-founder and Vice President of Science Buddies, a non-profit organisation that develops youth science talent.

“Science Buddies focuses on learners from higher primary to high school, fostering young scientists by providing them with the opportunity to participate in global science fairs and competitions, while giving them access to personal professional mentors that assist them with developing their innovative ideas and solutions.”

Moreover, he has also launched a non-profit organisation, The Rising Stars Foundation. The foundation currently focuses on students with university and bursary applications.

Throughout the years, the former Newcastle High School learner has represented South Africa at several international competitions and fairs, earning the prestigious Trophy for Ambassadorship Award from Newcastle High School.

He was also the only South African senior at The International Africa Science Buskers’ Festival 2020, where he earned a silver medal together with The People’s Choice Award.

In 2020, Iziphonzonke was invited as the only senior to represent SA at the Global Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition, and, among hundreds of thousands of the world’s brightest young scientists and innovators, he was selected as one of 300 Top Young Scientists.

He represented South Africa at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair held in Boksburg annually and was also the third Top Junior Mathematician in South Africa in the Siyavula 1MillionMaths Challenge.

CEO of Chegg, Dan Rosensweig 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.”

Rosensweig added that now, more than ever, students like Iziphozonke 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.”

He added that their finalists this year had made a tremendous impact in areas from the environment to equality and justice, from health and wellbeing to education and skills, and from youth empowerment to ending poverty.

“I can’t wait to see how this year’s inspiring cohort of changemakers use this platform to make their voices louder, and their work lift up even more lives,” concluded Rosensweig.

Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation, said he extended his warmest congratulations to Iziphozonke, adding that 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 top 10 finalists of the Global Student Prize are expected to be announced in August this year. The winner, who will be announced later in the year, will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.  

The Newcastillian – Online News and Pixelfish Marketing extend our congratulations to Iziphozonke Mlambo, you are an awesome Newcastillian.

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Photo credit: Apollo Strategic Communications

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