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Shawn Mendes has committed $250,000 through his Shawn Mendes Foundation (SMF) and in partnership with nonprofit organization Global Citizen Year to fund the Global Citizen Academy, a “leadership experience” for high school graduates. Awarding need-based scholarships, the program is designed with Minerva Project and will feature its own curriculum and program of speakers diving into such pressing social issues as racial justice, climate change and human rights.

In addition, Mendes will be serving as Global Youth Chair for the Academy tasked with amplifying recruitment worldwide. He’ll also help curate speakers for the Academy’s “Leadership In Action” series.

Said Mendes in announcing the commitment: “Our world needs young leaders now more than ever. It’s been truly inspiring to watch so many young activists use their voices. By working with Global Citizen Academy, my hope is that we can empower many more young people around the world with the resources and tools they need to make an impact.”

“In recent months many have called on Gen Z — and, specifically, this year’s high school graduates — to step up and lead,” added Abby Falik, Global Citizen Year founder and CEO. “Some have called for a year of service, others have called for a national corps. But until now, no one has provided a clear and tangible way to do it. We’re thrilled to partner with Shawn and his Foundation to launch Global Citizen Academy: a powerful new pathway for young people who are ready to get in the arena, level up and lead.. To anyone around the world who is inspired by Shawn’s activism and leadership, I hope you’ll join us. This is your chance to become the kind of leader our world needs now.”

Mendes’ foundation was founded in 2019 and “seeks to inspire the youth of today and to empower them to bring change by taking action and giving back.

Global Citizen Academy is accepting applications until July 30th. For more information, head to ShawnMendesFoundation.org.