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Sierra Leonean student who built a device to generate clean power wins $100,000 Global Student Prize

A Sierra Leonean student identified as Jeremiah Thoronka has emerged as winner of a $100,000 global student prize after beating 3,500 nominees from 94 countries across the world. According to reports, Jeremiah was shortlisted from the total of 3,500 nominees to a final list of 10 where he went on to win the grand prize.

The scheme’s criterion for selection was based on real impact by a student on learning, the lives of his/her peers and on society. Jeremiah who won the ultimate met the stated criterion as he created a device which generates kinetic energy from traffic and also pedestrians to help produce a clean power; an initiative which will impact society positively and also impact many lives.

Commenting on the award, Jeremiah said, “it’s very much exciting that I’m being awarded this prize but then, the most important aspect of this award is the fact that, you know, the world is now celebrating the struggle of students who are taking responsibility in seeing how they can contribute towards national and local development.”

Explaining his motivation for the initiative and the technology behind it, he said, “a lot of people are coming to urban areas so there is need for more energy systems, there is need for more energy plants. For me, I looked at the perspective where the kinetic energy, you know the energy that people give out when they are moving in their cars or maybe walking on the sides; that’s what I absorb.”

“It’s just like when you have a sponge and then you put water on the sponge and you know the sponge sucks the water inside so that kinetic energy that people exhibit is what my device sucks, if I can put it that way and so I can transform it into power,” He said whilst adding that, part of his inspiration came from a combination of personal experiences and a handful of things he learnt from the classroom.

When asked to respond to what he will be using the money for, the 21-year-old said “I’m going to look at my local community and see how we can create more avenues for more people to get access to power because, that’s what is more important to me.”

Speaking on what the award meant to him and the people of Sierra Leone, Jeremiah said “this only speak volume of the amazing young people in Sierra Leone whom are doing a lot of amazing things who are very much committed to seeing how they can contribute towards change in lot of dynamics and challenges and as well as the excellence of students from Sierra Leone; something very awesome that brings so much joy to me and also a lot of people back home.”

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