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Rise FAQ

Each year, Rise invites 15-17 year olds from around the world to participate in the Rise Challenge. Unlike many traditional applications, Rise uses videos, projects, and group interviews so applicants have multiple opportunities to showcase their potential. For applicants without access to technology, we offer alternative low-tech pathways through web-browser and paper applications.

The Rise Challenge has three stages. Applicants introduce themselves through videos, create an individual project that demonstrates their talents and benefits their communities, and peer review other applicants’ projects, among other activities.

After applicants complete the Rise Challenge, Rise selects up to 500 Finalists to advance to “Finalist Days,” where they demonstrate their motivations, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

From the 500 Finalists, Rise selects 100 Global Winners to receive a lifetime of benefits as they work to serve others.

Applicants for the 2022 cohort must be between the ages of 15 and 17 as of July 1, 2022, meaning they are born on or between July 2, 2004 and July 1, 2007.

It does not matter what country they live in, background they come from, or academic experience they have. Whether they are interested in science, innovation, technology, art, policy, community organizing, or any other discipline—we want to hear from them.

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. We understand that economic barriers are not the only challenges that keep brilliant people from serving others throughout their lives.

Rise Global Winners hail from around the world and demonstrate brilliance in a range of disciplines. Some may excel in STEM fields, others may show outstanding artistic ability, and others may have a gift for community service and organizing.

All Rise Global Winners demonstrate the five Rise Traits:

  1. Brilliance

  2. Perseverance

  3. Integrity

  4. Empathy

  5. Calling

Meet the inaugural 2021 cohort of Rise Global Winners at

The purpose of our selection process is to look at the whole you, not just your past achievements—but also your potential to commit to a lifetime of service to others. To do this, we divide our selection process into distinct components so we can learn about you from as many different angles as possible.

Peer Review

Your video responses will be reviewed by a random selection of your peers according to the Rise Traits. This review will get factored along with the other information you’ve shared throughout the application process to develop a composite score.

Expert Review

The submissions receiving the highest scores in the first three stages will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The panel of judges includes global experts who come from diverse backgrounds and work across numerous fields.

Live Evaluation

Up to 500 Finalists will be selected to participate in a series of activities and interviews. These applicants are further evaluated by an additional review panel that selects 100 Global Winners.

The application is like a jigsaw puzzle of multiple pieces: your videos, your reviews of other peoples’ videos, others’ reviews of your videos, your project, your profile information, and other assessments. All pieces count and together form a whole picture of you as an applicant throughout the Rise Challenge.

There are three ways to complete your application: via our official mobile app, Hello World; through our web-browser application portal; or via a printable paper form.

The activities are similar in each pathway, and we look for the same attributes. The differences in the application formats come down to the functionality that each can support. Our preferred method of entry is through Hello World, since it supports the most robust experience. However, we encourage you to choose the pathway that works best for you based on your access to technology:

Hello World is accessible on iOS and Android mobile devices and asks for video responses to the prompts. Through video, you can showcase aspects of yourself that might be more challenging to get across in writing. You will get to watch and review the responses of your peers and see what they’re working on. By applying through Hello World, you’ll also have access to apply to other opportunities within their network.

The web-browser application is accessible through web browsers, supporting written responses to the prompts and peer review. The web-browser pathway has less social features than Hello World, and if you apply in writing, you’ll be reviewing written responses.

The paper application is for users that don’t have access to Hello World or the web-browser application. It asks for written responses to the same prompts supplied on the other pathways.

The deadlines for the Rise Challenge are as follows:

Stage 1: January 14, 2022
Stage 2: February 16, 2022
Stage 3: February 23, 2022

In Stage 2, we recommend you spend between 20 and 30 hours to complete your individual project for the Rise Challenge. This is a suggested amount of time, not a requirement.

Each video response to a prompt should be 3 minutes or less.

Each written response to a prompt should be no more than 1600 characters, which is about 14 sentences or 2 paragraphs.

In Stage 1, applicants are required to provide peer reviews after submitting a response to each prompt. In each case, you’ll review the submissions of three of your peers by answering select questions.

In Stage 3, you’ll be asked to provide peer reviews again by reviewing the projects of three of your peers. Each project review will be a compilation of the three videos or written responses that the peer has produced. This is a total of nine videos. Be sure to allow yourself time to provide a thoughtful assessment.

We want to see what you care about—whatever form it takes!

You could create a piece of music, art, performance, or film; develop a new product, software service, or business; build a social or political movement; create a body of research; or anything else. We encourage you to think of creative ways that your project could benefit your community.

This project can be part of a larger initiative, but the work that you present in your videos or written responses must be something that you start between October 2021 and February 2022 and must be work you’ve specifically prepared for your Rise application. If you’re pursuing a passion that you’ve completed projects on previously, that’s great; just make sure the work that you’re presenting is all new. You may be asked to verify this at points throughout the application process.

While we encourage collaboration, your project for the Rise Challenge must be an individual project. Completing an individual project is a great way for you to showcase your talents, interests, and passions. If you are currently working on a group project that you would like to use for the Rise Challenge, we ask that you only showcase the areas in which you work on yourself. Note that Rise Finalists and Rise Global Winners are awarded to individuals, not groups or teams.

The resources, such as online lessons and workshops, are to help you with your Rise Challenge and, hopefully, enrich your experience. They are optional and will not be factored into the Rise selection process.