Pioneer Academics, a public-benefit corporation aiding high-school students from organizations such as QuestBridge and A Better Chance as they prepare for college, plans to announce a partnership with Rise, an initiative spearheaded by former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy.
“The students apply for a specific area to conduct research from economics to astrophysics, and, if accepted, are put into a group with between five or six kids from around the world,” said Matthew Jaskol, program director at Pioneer Academics. “They are granted research resource, including a professor to mentor them. The mentor guides them determine a research question, culminating with a graduate-level research paper credited by Oberlin college.”
Rise will partner with Pioneer to provide pre-college research opportunities to Rise Scholars, who are among the top 100 students in the world. Five of the 2021 Rise winners, and six Rise winners in 2022, were Pioneer scholars.
As an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Rise, which begins at 15 to 17 years of age, is the anchor program from the Schmidts to find and support global talent.
Rise, founded in 2019 by the Schmidts in partnership with the U.K.-based charity Rhodes Trust, which oversees the Rhodes Scholarship, as an effort to identify exceptionally bright students and support them early on. The program is geared toward promising students who may not have a high level of income. The students are mentored by top professors.
Bailey Cherry, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Hong Kong, is a Rise Scholar and a graduate of the Pioneer Academics program. The 17-year-old Filipino-American student concentrated her research on “The Politics of the Gig Economy: Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation, and Politics (Economics),” because of her interest in social entrepreneurship and sustainable development.
Cherry’s Rise project promoted literacy to underprivileged kids in Hong Kong by providing them with access to quality books as a means to advance their education.
“The applicants come from 88 countries,” said Amy Li, director of reputation management at Pioneer Academics.