Manchester United Foundation pupil wins global Rise Challenge
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rise participants manchester united foundation
A Manchester United Foundation student has been recognised as a global winner of the prestigious Rise Challenge, standing out from thousands of entries worldwide.


As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, Manchester United Foundation is highlighting the achievements of Iman, a student who has been chosen as a Rise Challenge Global 100 winner, giving her access to a university scholarship, a residential summit and more.

Over the past three years, Manchester United Foundation has been working in partnership with Rise, the anchor programme of a $1 billion commitment from Eric Schmidt - former CEO of Google - and his wife Wendy as part of their efforts to create initiatives to find and support global talent.

The Foundation introduces the challenge to students and supports them with social action projects, which are developed with the goal of supporting or improving their communities.

Iman, 17, is a former pupil of Foundation partner school Manchester Academy. Iman immigrated from Pakistan to Manchester at a young age and experienced racial and financial discrimination. As part of her Rise entry, Iman channelled these experiences positively to create ‘Academy Edge’, a youth-led initiative tackling disparities in education across England, with the primary objective of offering free tuition to underprivileged children throughout their primary and secondary education.

Iman was selected by judges as one of 100 winners from thousands of global entries. This will now open a number of doors, with Rise providing Iman with a university scholarship, the opportunity to attend a residential summit in London - where she will meet other winners from around the world - and funding to develop her Rise project, plus other plans she has to positively contribute to her community.

Iman said: “I was in disbelief when I found out that I had won, but that soon changed into joy - it was so nice to see my work recognised. Following experiences in my own life, I am passionate about bridging gaps in education to create a more inclusive environment, so to have the chance to develop this project with Rise is incredible.”

James Eldon, Iman’s former headteacher, said: “Iman demonstrated impressive leadership. She showed that leadership doesn’t need to be loud or showy, it can be achieved through quiet determination. Iman brought a Manchester energy to a global challenge and I’m so pleased to see her get the rewards she deserves.”

Michael Brewster, Rise Manager at Manchester United Foundation, said: “We’re really proud of Iman and everything she has achieved. Iman spotted a barrier that existed for some people in education and has filled that in a really innovative way. At the Foundation we aim to empower young people to make a positive contribution to their community and the Rise programme helps us do that – it’s great to see Iman get the recognition she deserves.”

Since being crowned a winner, Iman has also had the opportunity to talk about her experience with 2024 Rise applicants and to address headteachers of Foundation partner schools at Old Trafford.

Iman said: “I think it’s important for people to see that if you put the work in you can unlock some amazing opportunities. Whether that’s people my age or teachers who can support things like Rise; it was really nice to be able to talk about my experience and hopefully inspire other people too.”

To find out more about Manchester United Foundation’s partnership with Rise, visit: www.mufoundation.org/Projects/Rise


Operating Team


United Kingdom
Football (Soccer)
Sustainable Development Goals
10 – Reduced inequalities
5 - Gender equality
Target Group

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