Kilifi Student, Marrieta Kazungu, Shortlisted for Sh14m Global Prize

August 2, 2023

A Kenyan student has achieved global recognition as one of the top 50 students shortlisted for the prestigious Sh14 million ($100,000) Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2023.

18-year-old Marrieta Kazungu, who attends St. Thomas Girls Secondary School in Kilifi County, has earned her place as one of the ten African students to make it to the esteemed top 50 shortlist. Her selection came from a remarkable pool of 3,851 applications originating from 122 countries worldwide.

Now in its third year, the Global Student Prize is bestowed upon extraordinary students who have made a genuine and notable impact on education, the lives of their fellow students, and society as a whole.

“Marrieta is working to combat the impact on young people growing up in remote rural areas of Kenya, where poverty is widespread, access to good healthcare is a challenge and girls are seen as second-class citizens.”

“Marrieta has developed a passion for science and technology, with a particular interest in how to provide better healthcare for people in her community, and has reached out to her peers at school to show them how they can improve the health of their mothers, young children and elderly people,” says the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2023.

The impressive teenager is also the president of her school’s Science and Innovation Club. The school, under her guidance, initiated a project aimed at combating malnutrition in their community while also promoting awareness of nutritional health among students in the area.

Marrieta’s ingenuity and dedication were truly remarkable during the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid the health system’s overwhelming challenges with a high number of infections, she designed and developed a groundbreaking biomedical device capable of detecting and testing for respiratory infections, including COVID-19, providing immediate results.

“Marrieta is a brilliant, outgoing and very confident girl. She is headed for greater things. She’s a candidate this year, has a passion for innovation and giving back to the society. She travelled a week ago and is in London for the award and will be there for two weeks. She is with two other students from Maryhill and St Starehe Girls. She loves English and sciences particularly chemistry,” St Thomas Girls Secondary School Principal Eunice Mwaiseghe said.

The school head mentioned that she told President William Ruto about the girl’s achievements when he visited last week. He promised to expand the school to accommodate more girls.

The applications and nominations for this year’s Global Student Prize commenced on January 19 and concluded on May 14.

The announcement of the top 10 finalists is scheduled to take place this month. From this distinguished group, the ultimate winner will be revealed later in the year, following a selection process carried out by the Global Student Prize Academy, which comprises eminent personalities.

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