Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis; and sporting heroes Zach and Julie Ertz have joined the judging panel that will pick Global Student Prize winner.
The Varkey Foundation had launched the $50,000 Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year. A sister award to the Global Teacher Prize, the award aims to highlight the efforts of extraordinary students throughout the world that are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.
The closing date for applications and nominations is on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
The winner will be announced live at a ceremony in Paris in November - Covid conditions permitting, organisers said.
The newest members of the Global Student Prize Academy – which will pick the winner – include
US women's national soccer team player and two times World Cup winner, Julie Ertz; and her husband, Philadelphia Eagles tight end and Superbowl champion, Zach Ertz.
Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, said: “I warmly welcome all these celebrated leaders who are lending their star power to the cause of giving students a voice. Whatever the question, education is the answer. Now more than ever, we must shine a light on inspiring students who hold the future in their hands.”
Ashton Kutcher is the co-founder of Thorn, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to building technology to defend children from sexual abuse. He produces Going from Broke, a financial-makeover show created to help college students and graduates grappling with debt during the pandemic.
Mila Kunis supports charities such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, along with causes including at-risk/disadvantaged youths and children.
Julie and Zach Ertz launched the Ertz Family Foundation whose mission includes learning through sports and advancing education to build supportive communities. Earlier this year they teamed up with partners including Chegg to provide 600,000 meals to hungry families in Philadelphia.
Ashton Kutcher urged students around the world to apply for the prize before the May 16 deadline. “I admire Chegg’s passion for helping young people as they prepare to inherit an uncertain world …It’s important that we recognise and support deserving student role models at this time.”
Mila Kunis highlighted how the Covid-hit generation holds an increasingly uncertain future. “Now more than ever, we must hear their voices. So Ashton and I are proud to play our part in helping inspiring students tell their stories to the world through the Global Student Prize.”
Zach Ertz referred to “many unsung young heroes in our classrooms around the world”.
“ I believe it is vitally important we shine a light on them, so they receive the acclaim they deserve. This prize gives students a new voice, and I cannot wait to see the many incredible students who will be highlighted through this new award.”
Julie Ertz added: “There are so many student role models who are worthy of great recognition. The Global Student Prize has the potential to bring these unsung heroes to the fore as they look to lift up their classmates and build a better world. I’m looking forward to seeing these inspiring stories.”