Lebanese 18-year-old Jihad Kawas is skipping university – not just a year, but for the foreseeable future. He’s bright, hard working and an overachiever – but he’d probably say that’s exactly why he’s dodging spending the next few years in a classroom. But most importantly, he’s found someone to pay him $100,000 "to build something awesome” as a 2015 Thiel Fellow .
The Thiel Foundation provides $100,000 to 30 fellows who agree to skip college for the two years of the program.
“College can be good for learning about what’s been done before, but it can also discourage young people from doing something new – especially when it leaves them in debt,” said Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal who founded the program. “Each of the fellows charts a unique course, but together they have proven that young people can succeed by thinking for themselves instead of competing on old career tracks.”
Kawas, who is the CEO of his own company Saily, a social marketplace app, was already not a huge fan of school, as he made clear during a TEDx talk in Beirut in February.
"We find it (school) irrelevant and sometimes even disruptive to what we do,” Kawas told the audience. "It “does not relate to our interests and does not make us better at what we’re good at.”
Mabrouk to Kawas; we can’t wait to see what awesome things he builds over the next two years.