October 15, 2017
Oct 15

More than 750 New Student Commitments to Action Announced at 10th Annual CGI University Meeting

Boston, Mass
Press Release

President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton conclude CGI U 2017 at Northeastern University, engaging more than 1,200 student leaders on issues of hurricane and disaster response, the opioid epidemic, relief for refugees and displaced populations, violence against women, and more.

Throughout the weekend, college students joined experts, entrepreneurs, and civically engaged individuals such as President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States; Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04); Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City of Boston; Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State, chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, chair of the National Democratic Institute; Joseph E. Aoun, president, Northeastern University; Daryl Davis, musician/race relations expert, Lyrad Productions; Paul E. Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and chief strategist, Partners In Health, and Kolokotrones university professor of global health and social medicine, Harvard University; David Gergen, faculty director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School;  Alan Khazei, founder and CEO, Be The Change, Inc.; David Miliband, president and CEO, International Rescue Committee; Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic medalist, activist, and entrepreneur, Louella; Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO, Mogul; M.A. Sanjayan, CEO, Conservation International; Amy Ziering, documentary filmmaker, Chain Camera Pictures, among others.

Boston, Mass — This weekend, more than 1,200 college and university students from across the country and around the world came together at Northeastern University for the 10th annual CGI University (CGI U) meeting, making more than 750 Commitments to Action to address this generation’s most pressing challenges.

New commitments this year include efforts to provide professional-led naloxone administration training to combat the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia, create a program with ride-sharing companies which will teach them how to accommodate individuals with disabilities, and establish academies that will increase access to a STEM education for African women.

Chelsea Clinton also revealed the winner of the CGI U 2017 Commitments Challenge. The competition began on September 14, during which students received private donations from supporters around the world through CrowdRise. In total, students raised more than $71,000 for their commitments. The winning commitment is Dream Chasers, which raised more than $18,000.

In the lead up to the CGI U meeting, students had the opportunity to participate in a two-day “Code for Impact” event in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative. This codeathon challenged student designers from across disciplines to develop a digital prototype that improves or facilitates energy efficiency in metropolitan areas and urban centers. Judges included Chelsea Clinton, Donnel Baird, founder and CEO of BlocPower; John Cleveland, executive director of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission; Gwen Ruta, senior vice president of climate and energy at the Environmental Defense Fund; and Carl Spector, environment commissioner, City of Boston. The winning team Wi$er, recognized at the closing plenary, created a mobile application that aims to reduce food wastage by curating grocery shopping lists, based on an individual’s “taste profile”.

This weekend also marked the launch of the CGI U Honor Roll, a roster of extraordinary alumni who over the past decade have made a significant impact through their CGI U Commitments to Action and careers. These individuals are dedicating their lives to taking on complex local and global challenges and finding new ways to make the world a better place.

On Sunday, October 15, President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh led CGI U students in a Day of Action to give back to the Boston community. CGI U students and members of the community worked with several community-based organizations on activities including refurbishing playgrounds, cleaning parkland, constructing mini-libraries, and restoring wetlands. To date, the Clinton Foundation has hosted 32 Days of Action in the United States and abroad, which have mobilized more than 5,700 volunteers and donated more than 24,000 volunteer hours.

For pictures from CGIU 2017, courtesy of the Clinton Foundation, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Support for CGI U 2017 is provided by the Ford Foundation and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, who partners with CGI U on “Up To Us,” a year-round program on college and university campuses.

Follow @CGIU and @ClintonFdn on Twitter for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGIU2017.

**The following new commitments and progress reports were announced at CGI U:

Featured CGI U 2017 Commitments 

Commitment By: Alex Mativo, Nini Moru, Samuel Kanu
School: African Leadership University

In 2017, Alex Mativo, Nini Moru, and Samuel Kanu committed to turn electronic waste into jewelry and furniture to provide employment for youth in Maseru, Lesotho. The group aims to eradicate 1,000 tons of electronic waste from communities affected by high toxins and assist artisans in designing products for international retailers. They will do this by partnering with local mobile service providers to raise awareness of electronic waste disposal and to showcase artisanal products, and measure their success by quantifying the amount of electronic waste that they are able to eradicate and the number of jobs that they create.

Improving Naloxone Access in Philadelphia (INAP)
Commitment By: Nicholas Giordano, Sydney Axson
School: University of Pennsylvania

In 2017, Nicholas Giordano and Sydney Axson committed to provide professional-led naloxone administration training among at-risk Philadelphia communities to decrease opioid overdoses and casualties. The pair will work with registered nurses to train individuals at universities, addiction centers, homeless shelters, and other at-risk areas on ways to source naloxone, identify opioid overdoses, and properly administer medication. Nicholas and Sydney hope that community trainings will lead to 30 percent more Philadelphians carrying naloxone while decreasing overdose deaths within two years.

The Kansas City Free Eye Clinic
Commitment By: Loreley Robie, Setu Patel, Birju Solanki
School: University of Missouri – Kansas City

In 2015, Loreley Robie, Setu Patel, and Birju Solanki committed to provide eye examinations, vision care, and eyeglasses to increase health care access for the uninsured and homeless population in Kansas City, Missouri. Since inception, the KCFEC has served more than 3,110 patients, prescribed and distributed more than 1,300 eyeglasses, and diagnosed several ocular diseases and cancers that may have otherwise progressed to blindness. The KCFEC’s 2012 commitment to expand a new clinic space in an area populated by four of the major homeless shelters in Kansas City has resulted in conducting eye exams for more than 2,000 patients and a stable patient network of around 200 people annually. The KCFEC has partnerships with the Rose Brooks domestic violence shelter, Literacy KC, KC Medicine Cabinet, and others.

Leaves Plates: New Green World – Future for the Ecosystem
Commitment By: Prakash Bajgain, Nupam Magar
School: Queensborough Community College, Goldengate International College

In 2016, Prakash Bajgain and Nupam Magar committed to use natural tree leaves to make leaf plates as an alternative to plastic plates to conserve the ecosystem and create a sustainable living environment in Nepal and the United States. The team will recruit women from the Terai village in Nepal and train them to produce leaf plates by using local resources. Prakash and Nupam plan to distribute the plates to restaurants in New York City, and they will measure success by whether they replace harmful plastic and paper plates with natural leaf plates. Now, “Leaves Plates” is an officially registered company that is based in New York City and has opened a subsidiary company in Kathmandu, Nepal; the rural manufacturing plant has been completed in Nepal and employs more than 70 Nepalese women. Prakash and Nupam have been able to raise more than $26,000 through fundraising at various local events and expects to sign a contract in the coming months with one of the biggest food festivals in Spain.

Commitment By: Trang Duong, Victor Wang, Katarzyna Matlak
School: Brown University

In 2016, Trang Duong, Victor Wang, and Katarzyna Matlak committed to launch a social enterprise that will provide employment opportunities and prosthetic limbs to people with disabilities in Vietnam. They developed an innovative approach to collect used prosthetics in the United States and re-customize the equipment for patients in developing countries. The team has created a streamlined digital platform to collect these prosthetics. Unlike other services already on the market, the group plans to cover the cost of donors’ shipping and provide a digital interface with regular updates on the status of the prosthetics, in order to ensure the quality of the devices and directly oversee the fitting procedure. They have partnered with the largest prosthetic chain in the United States, Hanger Clinic. The team has raised more than $40,000 in grants and fitted more than 30 prosthetic legs to date.

Project 99
Commitment By: Yulkendy Valdez, Josuel Plasencia, Paulina Zarate
School: Babson College

In 2016, Yulkendy Valdez, Josuel Plasencia, and Paulina Zarate committed to offer summer camps for young millennial entrepreneurs to empower them as economic leaders in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The program will provide leadership workshops for students of all backgrounds on making an impact, the inclusive economy, and challenging gender, ethnic, and economic stereotypes. Since the 2016 CGI U meeting, the group has successfully implemented three pilots and expanded their scope to include Mexico and the United States, with the goal of getting more Latino representation in the social entrepreneurship realm. They have raised $30,000 to date from investor connections and partnerships with Delta Airlines, EY, and Deloitte. More than 100 Dominican and Mexican youth have participated in their programs thus far.

Unspoken Smiles Institute
Commitment By: Jean Paul Laurent
School: Columbia University

In 2016, Jean Paul Laurent committed to provide dental hygienist training for unemployed youth to improve access to dental health care for the poor and reduce youth unemployment in Haiti. The program consists of a five-week dental training course for young adults so that they can provide basic paid care to adults and free care to children under the age of 16. The institute is a new initiative of the Unspoken Smiles Foundation, an NGO that works to connect low-income children in developing nations with quality dental care. Now, Jean Paul has directly impacted more than 4,000 children from communities in Haiti, Romania, and Kurdistan, providing them with services to avoid detrimental diseases such as tooth decay or gum disease. Additionally, Jean Paul has distributed approximately $20,000 worth of dental education materials to ensure that the accomplishments remain sustainable.

Wheelshare (Now called Patch Health)
Commitment By: Salman Hirani, Andrew Mccoy
School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Drexel University

In 2017, Salman Hirani and Andrew McCoy committed to create an educational program with ride-sharing companies in Boston and New York to increase access to paratransit services for people with disabilities. They will create a curriculum to certify drivers of the ride-share companies in how to properly assist people with disabilities to get into and out of a vehicle. Andrew and Salman hope to partner with Harvard Medical School and Icahn School of Medicine to develop the curriculum and with Uber and Lyft to implement the program. They expect to lessen the burden and cost of using ride-share services for people with disabilities.


About the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, nearly 35,000 American schools have provided kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 150,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; working with partners, more than 8.5 million trees and tree seedlings have been planted to strengthen ecosystems and livelihoods; over 600,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises and health and wellbeing programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, over 11.5 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; an estimated 85 million people in the U.S. will be reached through strategic health partnerships developed across industry sectors at both the local and national level; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,600 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 435 million people in more than 180 countries.

Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org,on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.