February 19, 2015

Two university students win esteemed awards

Two UChicago students, Daniel Yu and Yusef Al-Jarani, recently won two prestigious grants to work on public health and enterprise from British institutions.

Yu received the second Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs prize, presented to him by Prince Charles in London on behalf of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Unilever. The prize also included 50,000 pounds along with support and mentoring from the Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Unilever.

Yu took a leave of absence from the University in 2013 to build his company Reliefwatch, which consists of a cloud program that uses cell phones to help health clinics in developing countries manage their inventories. His company is currently being utilized by Global Brigades, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has 42 clinics in countries such as Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Yu plans on expanding Reliefwatch to 10 new clients in the next year and work in countries such as Benin and Liberia.

Al-Jarani, a fourth-year who previously received the 2014 Harry S. Truman scholarship, was one of 40 U.S. students out of a pool of 800 to receive a Gates Cambridge scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge—the world’s fourth oldest college. He will complete a MPhil in developmental studies, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. Al-Jarani plans to develop businesses to help young people in that region find meaningful careers.

“Youth in the Middle East and North Africa face very high unemployment rates, even though they are very well educated,” Al-Jarani said in a University press release. “The opportunities simply are not there. I think there are ways for startup incubators and small business consultative services to help them grow their markets and create jobs.”