To further its mission of ending education inequality through the power of mentorship, Australia’s leading mentor program, AIME, today announced a global competition to bring its proven volunteer model to 10 new countries.

Launched with the short film “Cogs” by Academy Award-winning director Laurent Witz, alongside an open letter from Australian university, business and political leaders, followed with endorsements from ambassadors across the planet including actress Uzo Aduba, Olympic icon Ian Thorpe, English cricket captain Joe Root and actress Troian Bellasario, the competition seeks 10 persuasive young leaders from around the globe to implement the AIME mentor program and spark an education movement in their countries. The film and competition details can be found here.

AIME was established in Australia in 2005 to help bridge the divide between university students and underprivileged children from Australia’s indigenous population – the country’s most disadvantaged high school students who are often being left behind. The program has been lauded by leading voices for social justice, with award-winning journalist and human rights advocate Jeff McMullen stating, “It is the most hopeful education movement I have seen in over fifty years.” By matching university students and disadvantaged kids in a unique, high-energy mentoring program, AIME has been independently verified to close the education gap for participants and send them into the world on equal footing with the rest of the population.

“We’ve tested our mentoring model in a number of locations and populations for more than 12 years and it’s been proven to work – whatever the context,” said AIME Founder and CEO Jack Manning Bancroft. “The simple truth is we help end inequality for kids. With this contest, we’re looking to find the right people to take this proven mentorship model and help change the world, one university at a time.”

Actress Kate Mulgrew of “Orange is the New Black” fame, one of the program’s many global ambassadors, captured it best when she said, “AIME is not only mighty, it is crucial. It has the power to knit the entire global community together through education and endorses mentorship in the best possible way. It will lift, it will deepen and it will transform.”

The AIME program is specifically anchored around participating universities to leverage college-age student mentors and reach disadvantaged high school students in the surrounding area. As part of the global competition, entrants will be required to pitch and secure a financial and strategic commitment from a participating university, with AIME matching university funding and providing the training, content and tools necessary to bring each program to life. While AIME funding has been set aside for each winner, it can only be unlocked once candidates convince a local university to match the investment. Once secured, winners will be provided with a three-year opportunity to work with AIME.

Added Bancroft, “If they can’t convince the university bosses to see value in this, then they will never be able to change their countries with our model. We’ve got to convince the powerful to connect with the powerless. That’s our role, the heart of our model and the key to unlocking mass change.”

Applications are open until July 31, 2017. For more information about AIME and details on how to enter the competition, click here.

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