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Voting is now closed. Tune in to our worldwide broadcast to find out who will take home the 2019 Cisco Youth Leadership Award.

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More About the Finalists

About the Prize

The Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award was established by Cisco and Global Citizen to recognize and lift up a young person positively impacting the world, as a way to demonstrate the impact that young people are having on achieving the Global Goals, and to accelerate global problem solving.

Selected via an application process, the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award honors an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully towards the goal of ending global poverty. The award includes a $250,000 prize paid to the organization to which the individual contributes.

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About the Partnership

Cisco and Global Citizen are united in their belief that young people around the world are leading the way to create and implement solutions to achieve the Global Goals, and to accelerate global problem solving.

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Judging is based on 5 equally-weighted criteria:


Demonstrated track-record of measurable impact at scale over last 3-5 years advancing one or more of the Global Goals.


Compelling vision and concrete plans for how to extend this work in the next 3-5 years, including how the prize will advance efforts.


Inspires other young people to have an impact on achieving one or more of the Global Goals.


Demonstrates the values and embodies the spirit of a Global Citizen and a Global Problem Solver.


Innovates with technology or Internet-based communications to improve efficiency, reach, and magnify impact.

2018 Winner

Wawira Njiru

Food for Education

Wawira is the Founder and Executive Director of Food for Education, an organization working with vulnerable children in Kenyan public schools to improve their lives by providing subsidised, nutritious school lunches. Food for Education has provided over 400,000 school meals, contributing to improved nutrition status, school attendance and performance.

Her ambition, simplicity of mission, and proof of impact earned Njiru the first-ever Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award, awarded at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, presented and hosted by the Motsepe Foundation, in December 2018.