CIS recognizes the outstanding work being done by students attending member schools through the CIS International Student Award. Award-winning students promote global citizenship and the development of international awareness in their communities.

Learn more about past award winners.


Maia Alabdelwahab, 16
American International School - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Project: Sheyma Project and Raising awareness of social issues

Maia has spearheaded two projects that have made a significant difference to the lives of others. First, with a group of UNICEF Club members she initiated and coordinated the collection and creation of shoeboxes full of gifts for refugee children as a part of Project Sheyma. This project involves students filling shoeboxes with items that a child refugee of a similar age would need and enjoy and then writing a note to that child. Maia's team partnered with a school in Jeddah, and advertised and organized the filling of the boxes and their storage. When her original plans for collecting boxes did not succeed, she problem solved and succeeded in getting the owners of shoe shops to donate the boxes. She and her team then solicited donations and donated their own money to ensure that the shoe boxes were filled with gifts. Maia and two other UNICEF members then travelled to Jordan during Week Without Walls, visited the refugee camps and distributed the gift boxes themselves. The entire 4-month long project was entirely organized and sustained by Maia, leading a team of students from the UNICEF club.

Second, Maia's creation of outstanding videos, inspired by her IB Nature of Science and English courses, The videos shared a social justice message and an understanding of the world that is likely to spread through social media. Maia used her self-taught skills in video production to make high quality, professional videos that are already making an impact. Maia is therefore a change maker and a multiplier who has the potential power to influence many young people at this exciting time in the history of Saudi Arabia.


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CIS is a membership community working collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools,
higher education institutions, and individuals. Global citizenship is the centre of everything we do at CIS to support our members.
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