Clinton Initiative Hosts 1,000 Students Hoping to Make a Difference

Sunday, 01 Apr 2012 08:16 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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More than 1,000 students from around the world are seeking solutions to international problems at a gathering hosted by former President Bill Clinton this weekend in Washington, D.C.

The fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) included students representing all 50 states, 82 countries, and more than 300 universities gathered at George Washington University. During the first two days -- Friday and Saturday -- of the CGI U 2012 meeting, students led by specialists examined topics including:

-- The transformation of the Middle East;
-- The global economic crisis and its impact on young people;
-- Recruiting and retaining teachers;
-- Famine in the Horn of Africa;
-- Cost-effective campus sustainability programs;
-- The youth movement for global health.

“Our fifth CGI University meeting has been a real success, with 915 new commitments made, which brings us to nearly 4,000 total commitments since the first meeting in 2008,” Clinton said in a statement Saturday night. “Young people have a greater ability to enact change than ever before and CGI U is a global network of young people seeking to use the resources at their disposal to make a difference in the world.”

On Sunday, CGI U 2012 concludes with 800 attendees and local volunteers contributing a total of 2,500 hours of work on District of Columbia service projects. The service projects are being done with Rebuilding Together and the United Service Organizations (USO). Participants will be assigned to one of the two partner organizations’ projects, including home repair activities to low-income homeowners in need and assembling packages that will be sent to military units about to deploy or are currently overseas. 

On Saturday, Clinton and Jon Stewart closed the second day of CGI U 2012 with a discussion and question-answer session with CGI U students on topics ranging from the state of Afghanistan, gay marriage, domestic violence, energy policy, foreign aid in developing countries, unemployment, and the role of civic engagement among today’s youth.

Other events included:

-- A look at failure as both a necessary part of the entrepreneurial and design process, and how initial failure can lead to future success; how young people can create economic opportunity. 

-- Sessions on each of CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation and Public Health.

-- Working sessions on CGI U commitments such as environmental entrepreneurship, mass mobilization, delivering advance medical technology to remote places, and the relationship between the public and the private sectors.

-- Skill sessions on Creating Buzz: Using Social Media to Market Your Cause; Driving Results: Monitoring and Evaluating Your Project; Raising Money for Your Commitment; The Next Step: Moving from Idea to Action.

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