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One Young World and China-United States Exchange Foundation announce inaugural cohort of the CUSEF x One Young World Scholars | FE News



One Young World and China-United States Exchange Foundation announce inaugural cohort of the CUSEF x One Young World Scholars | FE News

  • Eight young leaders will join the One Young World Community and attend the One Young World Summit this year in Montréal, Canada.
  • The programme will facilitate exchange and advance understanding between the world’s two largest economies by amplifying the work of young leaders who are dedicated to constructive East-West exchanges and tackling global challenges such as climate action, poverty, gender equality and public health.

One Young World, the global community for young leaders, and the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a non-governmental organization that builds trust between the world’s two leading economies, today announce the inaugural CUSEF x One Young World Scholars. 

The two organizations jointly identified eight exceptional leaders from the 12,991 applications received from global candidates. The eight Scholars have proven positive social impacts in tackling global challenges such as climate change, gender equality, and universal education.

The scholarship that CUSEF has initiated and endowed will improve each participant’s leadership skills by leveraging the skill and community of One Young World, a UK-based charity founded with the early support of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Professor Muhammad Yunus. 

Over the course of 12 months, the programme will help the Scholars unlock their potential, create lifelong connections, and expand their worldview so they can gain a deeper understanding of how to become more impactful in the communities they shape and influence. Through a series of exclusive CUSEF scholar sessions including peer-to-peer mentorship and capacity-building, as well as the One Young World Global Leadership Programme, they will be able to share best practices and gain comprehensive leadership skills and principles. As part of the One Young World Community, the Scholars will have access to curated opportunities, regional events and media engagements.

The Scholars joining the One Young World Community and attending the Summit in Montréal include:

  • Gitanjali Rao, United States: Gitanjali is a scientist and inventor who in 2020 was named the first-ever TIME Kid of the Year, announced on the cover of the renowned magazine. Today, she is an enrolled student at MIT and the creator of two inventions: “Epione”—a device for early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction, and “Kindly”—an anti-cyberbullying service using AI.
  • Ose Ehianeta Arheghan, Nigeria/United States: Ose is a policy specialist at Google and the 12th UNA-USA Youth Observer to the United Nations. They engage young Americans in the work of the United Nations, with a passion for LGBTQ+ rights, including queer and trans youth of color. Ose is a Truman scholar with bachelor’s degrees in Chinese and political science.
  • Carrera Chao, United States: Carrera is a storyteller, and the marketing and communications lead at China Folk House. The nonprofit is centered in a traditional Chinese farmhouse that was transported from Yunnan and reassembled in West Virginia. She supports its work in experiential learning and environmental stewardship.
  • Roxanne Stevenson-Brown, United Kingdom: Roxanne is a healthcare operations professional in the UK’s National Health Service. She also directs Young China Watchers, where she leads the London Chapter of a dynamic China-focused group of young professionals and facilitating discussions on urgent issues facing humanity.
  • Yixuan Ma, China: Yixuan is an award-winning scholar and consultant at UN Global Compact Network Canada, where she has emerged as a catalyst for sustainable transformation on a national scale. With a creative background in graphic design and video production, and a background in the private and public sectors, she crafts powerful storytelling narratives with lasting impact.
  • Koen Smeets, Netherlands: Koen is a Yenching Scholar at Peking University and the founder of a podcast that supports communications and understanding at a complex time in U.S.-China relations, providing a unique European perspective. He is also an organizer and speaker in the MIT ecosystem, interviewing over 60 world leaders on U.S.-China relations and technology. 
  • Nicolás Velasco Pérez, Colombia: Nicolás is the co-founder of South-North Scholars, the first undergraduate student-led network focused on economic and sustainable development. As a student in a dual degree of Political Economy and Public Policy between Duke Kunshan University in Jiangsu, China, and Duke University in North Carolina, United States, Nicolás fosters understanding between the East and West, and between the Global South and the Global North.
  • Daniel Tian, China: Daniel is the founder of the MEGA Hackathon League, a coalition of college and high school students in the U.S. and internationally who focus on the UN’s global goals and improving human development. He is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying for degrees in engineering and business.

The eight scholars will also participate in the annual One Young World Summit taking place in Montréal between 18th – 21st September. Each year the Summit brings together 2,000+ of the brightest young leaders from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact.

The CUSEF participants will have the opportunity to meet distinguished global leaders, which have in previous years included Queen Rania of Jordan and Professor Muhammad Yunus, connect with like-minded individuals from across the globe, and expand their knowledge to push forward their work to have a positive social impact.

James Chau, President of CUSEF, says: 

“We are hugely encouraged that 12,991 applicants saw the value in a scholarship programme that aligns with a critical moment for U.S.-China relations. It builds on CUSEF’s track record as a recognized leader in education and culture, having facilitated the exchange of more than 2,000 students between the two countries. Today, we renew our commitment to improve the human condition—by harnessing the talent of exceptional young people who are turning challenges into opportunities. Together, we are moving closer to a better tomorrow.”

Ella Robertson McKay, Managing Director of One Young World, says: 

“One Young World’s partnership with CUSEF is imperative to our joint effort to build a generation of leaders who are dedicated to strengthening ties between the US and China, which is particularly significant in today’s context of growing tensions. We’re excited to welcome CUSEF delegates to the 14th One Young World Summit in Montréal this September to foster collaboration between like-minded young activists and global leaders.”

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