Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher Image Credit: Supplied

Hollywood stars and real-life couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis will join the judging panel of the Global Student Prize, launched by the Varkey Foundation.

Also joining the celebrities on the panel will be the US women’s national soccer team player and two-time World Cup winner Julie Ertz and NFL player and Super Bowl champion Zach Ertz. The quartet will join the new Global Student Prize Academy and pick this year’s winner.

The Varkey Foundation launched the Global Student Prize this year, a $50,000 sister award to the Global Teacher Prize, to create a new platform that highlights the efforts of gifted students throughout the world who are making a real impact on learning.

Mila Kunis Image Credit: AP

“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,” said Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, in a statement.

“With world leaders preoccupied with the vital task of bringing this terrible pandemic to an end, I urge them to never forget that it is only by prioritising education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. I urge students to apply for this Prize without delay, as time is short,” he added.

The closing date for applications and nominations is on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Sunny Varkey
Sunny Varkey Image Credit: Supplied

Kutcher, best known for his role in the hit TV series, ‘That ‘70s Show’, along with the Steve Jobs biopic ‘Jobs’, is the co-founder of Thorn, a non-profit organisation dedicated to building technology to defend children from sexual abuse.

Additionally, Kutcher produces ‘Going from Broke’, a financial-makeover show created to help college students and graduates grappling with debt during the pandemic. Chegg CEO, Dan Rosensweig, hosts the show.

Meanwhile Kunis, when she’s not starring in Hollywood projects such as ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Bad Moms’, supports charities such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Julie and Zach Ertz have 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.

“I admire Chegg’s passion for helping young people as they prepare to inherit an uncertain world. I’m thrilled that Mila and I can help this cause by becoming members of the Global Student Prize Academy. It’s important that we recognise and support deserving student role models at this time. I would urge students everywhere to consider applying before the 16 May deadline,” Kutcher said in a statement.

Kunis added: “This generation of students hold an increasingly uncertain future in their hands and so the importance of a good education has never been more important. 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.”

“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,” Julie Ertz added.

Julie Ertz-1620214579623
Julie Ertz Image Credit: Supplied

The Global Student Prize Academy will pick the ultimate winner of the $50,000 award which will be announced live at a ceremony in Paris in November (COVID-19 conditions permitting).

Nominations and applications for the Global Student Prize on their official website.

The prize will be narrowed down to a Top 50 shortlist and Top 10 finalists, to be announced later in the year, helping to provide worldwide recognition for high achieving students. The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals.

If students are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why. The student being nominated will then be sent an email letting them know they’ve been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.

Applicants can apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.