Fifteen students attended the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) University meeting March 6-8 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., to network, attend leadership workshops and receive mentorship from experts, celebrities and their peers on how to make their commitments reality.
In all, St. Cloud State students have made seven commitments to action either as individuals or through participation in student organizations.
The University has committed to supporting the students through by becoming a member of the CGI University Network. St. Cloud State is providing funds to help St. Cloud State students attend the CGI University meeting. This is the third year St. Cloud State has pledged support for students, and their efforts are already showing results.
Students in the Future Educator’s Club made a commitment to tutor at-risk students at Talahi Elementary School, where student performance is low and the poverty rate is high.
The tutoring efforts are under way.
Members of the Student Council of Exceptional Children Club committed to build an inclusive playground at Whitney Park and have already raised $850 of their $1,000 goal.
They are now working with Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization in California that assists communities in building inclusive playgrounds, to finalize details for the playground, said Kathy Johnson, CGI University faculty liasion for St. Cloud State University.
Liheng Xu, Edina, a graduate student studying information assurance, first attended the CGI University two years ago and was inspired to plan her own initiative this year.
Together with Brikken Jensen, St. Cloud, she is designing Girl Code, a series of seminars and workshops for female high school students to encourage them to pursue science, mathematics, technology or engineering-related fields.
Xu and Jensen both have experience with programming and intend to build a model to use programming as a tool to pique girls’ interest in technology.
“We want to make it fun for girls to code,” she said.
They want to make sure that girls are exposed to opportunities in computing and science, so they know it’s an option for them.
The CGI University encourages college students to make commitments in one of five areas — Education, Environment and Climate Change, Poverty Alleviation, Peace and Human Rights and Public Health. More than 1,100 college students will gather at the March meeting.
St. Cloud State student commitments to action (and the students participating in the commitment who attended the conference) include:
Training Farmers of Rural Nepal
A commitment to train farmers of rural Nepal on the use of herbs for commercial production to help alleviate the high level of poverty in the rural areas of Nepal.
Karuna Paudel, (Nepal) St. Cloud
A commitment to hold seminars and workshops with female high school students to encourage them to go into science, mathematics, technology and engineering (STEM)-related fields.
Brikken Jensen, St. Cloud
Liheng Xu, (China) Edina
The St. Cloud State Student United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Club is committed to build two permanent wells in an area of Liberia where there is limited access to clean drinking water.
Ben Uecker, Ramsey
Annalise Gulstad, Prior Lake
VIP Robot Workshop
A commitment to host free classes for area youths to learn about robotics and design robots.
Eu Sheng Chung, (Malaysia) St. Cloud
Casey Majhor, Cologne
YaNan Zhang, (China) St. Cloud
St. Francis Bike Project
A commitment to building a bicycle rental area with accessible bicycles for all community members in the St. Francis area to make cycling an opportunity for all community members through free bike rentals.
St. Cloud Inclusive Playground
Members of the Student Council of Exceptional Children Club is committed to building an inclusive playground in St. Cloud. The group is also working with local schools to implement the Inclusive Lunchbox Curriculum. A few of the group members are attending the conference.
Aaron Cross, Waterloo, Iowa
Chelsea Swiggum, Prior Lake
Tom Guenther, White Bear Lake
Building Our Community with Fun, Mentorships and Love
The Future Educator’s Club is committed to tutoring at-risk students at Talahi Elementary School, where student performance is low and the poverty rate is high.
Samantha Truax, Hastings
Nichole Pollard, Rockford
Hunter Anderson, Hopkins