Press Releases

President Clinton To Host The Second Day Of The Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting at the University of California, San Diego on Saturday April 2, 2011

April 02, 2011

41 New Student Commitments Announced 

CGI U’s Commitment Challenge Bracket Continues; Championship Round Begins Saturday at Noon

Contact: [email protected]

La Jolla, CA – President Clinton will announce 41 new student projects and lead a plenary session with actor and humanitarian Sean Penn during the second day of programming at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting today.

The fourth annual meeting of CGI U, which opened yesterday at the University of California, San Diego, brings together more than 1,000 students from 349 schools, 90 countries, and all 50 states. Each participant has made a Commitment to Action – a concrete plan to address an issue within CGI U’s focus areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. This year, students and student groups have made 950 new commitments. In addition, 59 leaders from National Youth Organizations are attending CGI U, and have made 38 commitments.

“Once again, I have been amazed by the dedication and innovation displayed by the students attending CGI U,” President Clinton said. “Since CGIU was founded in 2008, students have already raised more than $4 million for educational, health, and disaster relief programs. They have provided more than 150,000 people with better access to health care and social services and built 44 schools and libraries. I am looking forward to learning about the results achieved by this year’s participants as they implement their commitments over the coming months.”

On Saturday, a plenary session on “Financial Aid: Innovation for Affordability,” will be moderated by Chelsea Clinton and will feature Marie Groark, executive director, Get Schooled Foundation; Eduardo M. Ochoa, assistant secretary for postsecondary education, U.S. Department of Education; Eduardo Padron, president, Miami Dade College; and Ifreke B. Williams, medical student and regional coordinator, Wellness and Student Life Action Committee, American Medical Student Association. Participants will examine strategies for making college more affordable and accessible. 

A session on “LGBT Rights in the U.S. and Beyond” will examine key issues facing the LGBT community, including bullying and discrimination, and highlight effective strategies for organizing at the local, national, and international levels. Participants will be Marie Tillman, founder and chair, Pat Tillman Foundation; Alexis Ortega, founding member, National Marriage Boycott; Jennifer Pizer, legal director and senior scholar of law, Williams Institute; Richard Socarides, president, Equality Matters; and Steave Ismael Nemande Tchatchoua, director, Alternatives Cameroun.

The final session on Saturday will be a conversation between President Clinton; Kennedy Odede, president and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities; and Sean Penn, founder and CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization. They will discuss what students can learn from those who are working on the front lines in some of the most distressed places on the planet, and how CGI U attendees can translate their ambitious commitments into meaningful results in the months and years ahead.

President Clinton will also host a press conference on Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in the Price Center’s Communidad Room.

Saturday will also be the final day of CGI U’s Commitment Challenge. This weekend, while there will be tremendous attention paid to athletic accomplishment at the NCAA "Final Four" men's and women's basketball championships, CGI U will celebrate its exemplary student commitments. Everyone can vote for their favorite CGI U 2011 commitments at

Votes are tallied and posted in real time and those not at CGI U can follow the action at Updates are given at each plenary session and the winning commitment will be announced at the CGIU closing session by President Clinton on Saturday, April 2, which will be webcast live. The winner will receive a new Dell laptop.

On Sunday, students will participate in a service project at the San Diego Food Bank. More information on the service project is in the schedule below.

CGI U thanks its sponsors: the Dell Social Innovation Competition, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Laureate Education, Life Technologies, Andy Nahas and The Prospect Fund, Qualcomm Incorporated, U.S. Global Investors and mtvU.

APPENDIX I: Schedule

APPENDIX II: Student commitments to be announced Saturday

About CGIU

The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U members do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and following-up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Miami, and have convened more than 2,500 students from 575 schools in 99 countries and all 50 states. To learn more, visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 170 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 19-22 in New York City.

This year, CGI will also convene a meeting focused on driving job creation and economic recovery in the United States. The meeting, CGI America, is the first CGI event solely dedicated to U.S. issues, and will take place in Chicago June 29-30.


The CGI community also includes, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit




What: Fourth Annual Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting


Who: President Clinton, more than 1,000 college students, more than 50 representatives of National Youth Organizations, and program participants including Nnamdi Asomugha, Drew Barrymore, Raquel “Rocsi” Diaz, Jose Reyes Ferriz, Lorena Garcia, Chad Hurley, Van Jones, Mandy Moore, and Sean Penn. For a complete list of featured program participants, please visit


President Clinton will host a press conference on Saturday, April 2, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in the Price Center’s Communidad Room.


Where: Events will take place in various locations.
Press Registration
Ground Floor Lobby
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093


Plenary Sessions
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093


Working and Skill Sessions
Price Center, Center Hall, and Student Services Center
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093


Service Project
San Diego Food Bank
9850 Distribution Avenue
San Diego, CA 92121-2320




Press must apply for credentials at by 6 p.m. March 31. We will notify you when your application has been approved. Limited press registration will be allowed on site, but may be subject to delays and space limitations. If you have any problems or questions, please email [email protected].


Credential pick-up and on-site registration will take place in the ground floor lobby of RIMAC Arena at the University of California, San Diego. Press registration will be open Saturday, April 2, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. NOTE: To pick up your credential, you MUST bring a valid government-issued ID.





Many sessions will be webcast live at Follow us on Twitter (@cgiu and @clintonglobal) or on Facebook




Saturday, April 2
9:00 AM -10:00 AM RIMAC Arena
Plenary Session: The Urban Planet: Solutions for a Crowded World
Press Set-Time: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m.
For the first time in its history, the Earth now has more urban than rural residents. By 2030, the UN projects that the planet will have more than 5 billion city dwellers. From Sao Paolo to Shanghai, cities are increasingly the gateway to economic possibility for billions, but many exploding metropolitan regions around the world already struggle to provide basic levels of food, water, shelter, sanitation, and schooling to all of their residents. Few policymakers are fully aware of the long-term ramifications of a rapidly urbanizing planet. How can the transportation, health, education, and infrastructure crises that are already plaguing cities be addressed in a creative and effective manner? This panel will explore the innovative ways that students and universities can work to create sustainable and prosperous 21st century cities.
Van Jones, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Princeton University
Shi Nan, Secretary General, Urban Planning Society of China
Simran Sethi, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Kansas
Anu Sridharan, Co-founder, NextDrop


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM Price Center, Ballroom West B, Level 2
Working Session: Building Resilient Societies: Education in Post-Disaster Contexts
Climate change and natural disasters can have a huge impact on education in both the developed and developing world. From Hurricane Katrina to the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan, such disasters require both immediate emergency response mechanisms and a broader rebuilding strategy focused on education and long-term infrastructure. They can even provide an opportunity to rebuild better, allowing for the infusion of innovation, new resources, and international attention to propel an education system forward. International organizations, country-level ministries, and NGOs are focusing on ways to use education to restore a sense of normalcy and also mitigate the future impact of environmental catastrophes. This panel will highlight innovative approaches to post-disaster education, focusing on how individuals in the global community have responded to the acute needs caused by recent natural disasters.
Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Chief Executive and Founding Director, Children’s Global Network Pakistan
Raquel "Rocsi" Diaz, TV Personality, RocStar Rebuilds
Paul Franz, Journalist, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Baltazar S. Tribunalo Jr., Country Program Advisor on Child Centered Climate and Disaster Risk Management, lan International Inc. – Philippines


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM Student Services Center, Multipurpose Room
Working Session: The Anatomy of a Building: Breaking Down Our Built Environment
Buildings are stealth culprits of global warming, accounting for approximately 40 percent of energy use and carbon emissions in the United States. Every aspect of a building’s design is part of the equation that contributes to its environmental impact. Yet any single building can serve as a living example of the potential to demonstrate sustainable design and green jobs through efficiency retrofits, water conservation measures, photovoltaic panels, and even rooftop gardens. This panel will convene experts and students that have specific experience with planning and executing effective green building projects. By looking at a breakdown of the various opportunities for sustainability that any building presents, the panel will demonstrate tangible and practical actions to improve the whole organism of a building.
Ann V. Edminster, Founder and Principal, Design AVEnues LLC
Danny Kennedy, Founder, Sungevity
Priscilla Lee, Founder and Manager, White Tops NYC
Peggy Liu, Chairperson, Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy
Kevin Surace, Chief Executive Officer, Serious Materials


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Center Hall, Room 101
Working Session: LGBT Rights in the U.S. and Beyond
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights have returned to the spotlight, as a rash of suicides and hate crimes have grabbed headlines around the world. While a sweeping shift in public opinion is occurring regarding gay rights, the LGBT community itself is often divided and conflicted regarding its highest priorities. On the domestic front, campaigns surrounding marriage rights and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military have been recently overshadowed by numerous tragedies on campus for the gay community. In Uganda, a controversial law was nearly passed that would make homosexual activity punishable by death. This panel will discuss key issues facing the LGBT community, the diverse political climates in which they operate, and effective strategies for organizing at the local, national, and international levels.
Alexis Ortega, Founding Member, National Marriage Boycott
Richard Socarides, President, Equality Matters
Steave Ismael Nemande Tchatchoua, Director, Alternatives Cameroun


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM Price Center, Ballroom East
Working Session: On the Edge: Poverty Along the US-Mexico Border
Roughly 14 million people live along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico, and this population is expected to double by 2025. Poverty rates are high, education rates are low, and violence is escalating. Deteriorating security along the border is putting much of the hard work that has been done to address poverty in the region at risk. Many colinas, or border communities, lack basic necessities, including safe drinking water, electricity, and sewage systems. These hardships are compounded by the fact that many residents of the border region are migrants who must rely on temporary and transient work. This session will highlight efforts to improve economic opportunity for those on both sides of the border through participatory income generation and skill building programs, many of which are student-driven. Panelists will also address the ways in which the current security challenges are forcing organizations to reorient their work, and will share promising efforts that are addressing the unique needs of the poor in this region and helping to build resilient communities.
Jose Reyes Ferriz, Former Mayor of Ciudad Juarez
Ana Gabriela Perez, SocialInnovation Manager, Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos S.A. de C.V.
Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director, Via International


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM Price Center, Ballroom West A, Level 2
Working Session: Scaling Up, Saving Lives: Confronting the Health Workforce Crisis
The world is currently facing a massive shortage of health workers. More than 4 million additional doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, and other key public health workers are needed to fill this gap. The lack of skilled workers is especially acute in Africa, which bears 24 percent of the global disease burden and is home to 67 percent of the world’s HIV-positive population, yet has only 2.8 percent of the world’s health workforce. Developed countries—with a rising tide of chronic health problems and an aging health workforce—are also struggling with a demand for health workers that is far outpacing supply. In 15 years, the U.S. will face a projected shortage of 130,000 doctors. While the scale of the crisis is staggering, proven solutions do exist. This panel will discuss recent initiatives to sustain and build the health workforce, and potential interventions which can help reshape and reform medical training and the healthcare delivery system.
Michele Barry, Director, Center for Global Health and Senior Associate Dean, Global Health, Stanford University
Emily Bearse, Recruitment Director, Global Health Corps
Pape A. Gaye, President and CEO, Intra Health International, Inc
Deogratias Niyizonkiza, Founder, Village Health Works
Rajesh Panjabi, Executive Director, Tiyatien Health; Clinical Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM • Center Hall, Room 109
Skill Session: Creating Buzz: Using Social Media to Market Your Cause
Beyond a quick press release or an article in the school newspaper, what are some creative ways to raise the profile of the work done by CGI U members? This session will address both traditional marketing and media strategies and successful new media and digital organizing strategies,including web and film.
Alexis Ohanian, Founder and Chief Swine Defender, Breadpig
Ben Rattray, Chief Executive Officer,


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Center Hall, Room 119
Skill Session: From the Bottom Up: Grassroots Community Engagement
How do you work with communities instead of for them? This skill session will focus on commitments that work within underserved communities on both a domestic and global level. Discussions will focus on developing projects in a culture-specific context, creating community-based approaches in partnership with local leadership, and other challenges specific to community engagement.
Sonia Sarkar, Chief of Staff to the CEO, Health Leads
Kimmie L. Weeks, Executive Director, Youth Action International, Inc.


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Center Hall, Room 113
Skill Session: Raising Money for Your Commitment
This session will explore the resources available to commitment makers in order to secure funding for their respective projects. Key themes of this skill session will include effective and innovative fundraising strategies, potential funding opportunities, and grant writing skills.
Diana Ayton-Shenker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fast Forward Fund
Grant La Rouche, President, Nonprofit Jiu-Jitsu


10:30 AM- 12:00 PM • Center Hall, Room 105
Skill Session: The Next Step: Moving from Idea to Action
This student-led session is geared towards individuals in the early stages of their commitments. Former CGI U commitment-makers will guide attendees through the process of turning a commitment from vision to reality, while discussing partnership building, fundraising strategies, and other relevant skills needed to develop a successful commitment.
Christopher Moses, Co-founder and Operations Leader, Sana Mobile
Subir Sutradhar, Medical Student, Kenya Ceramic Project


11:30 AM – 12:00 PM • Price Center, Communidad Room
2:30 PM -3:30 PM • RIMAC Arena
Plenary Session: Financial Aid: Innovation for Affordability
Press set-time: 1 - 1:30
Around the world, the price of higher education is becoming a major barrier to success. The cost of a college education in the U.S. has increased more than five-fold in the last 30 years, far outpacing income growth. In the developing world, college financing options for low-income students are virtually nonexistent. Tuition-free e-schools, open-source textbooks, and other promising educational technologies are beginning to fundamentally redefine how students learn and how much education should cost. As college degrees simultaneously become more expensive and more critical for future economic success, how can students work with universities, governments, NGOs, and financial institutions to create innovative college affordability solutions and additional low-cost, digital learning tools? What successful financing mechanisms already exist, particularly for low-income students? This session will examine a wide variety of strategies and best practices that are making college more affordable and accessible.
Marie Groark, Executive Director, Get Schooled Foundation
Eduardo M. Ochoa, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Eduardo Padrón, President, Miami Dade College
Ifreke B. Williams, Medical Student; Regional Coordinator, Wellness and Student Life Action Committee, American Medical Student Association (AMSA)


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM • Price Center, Ballroom West B, Level 2
Working Session: Education Pathways and Opportunities for Adolescents
There is an urgent crisis in education: a critical lack of resources and options for young people at the post-primary level in developing countries. In addition to the 69 million out-of-school primary-aged children in the world, an additional 71 million young people are not enrolled in school at the post-primary level. Moreover, there are more young people ages12-24 today than ever before. Of the 1.5 billion young people in this age group, 1.3 billion live in developing countries, creating a “youth bulge.” Many of these young people find themselves with few viable schooling options. The International Labour Organization estimates that 300 million young people are “working poor” and living on less than $2 per day. This panel will focus on addressing the critical needs of adolescents, providing context and inspiration for how young people can actively address the needs of their peers around the globe.
Joel Arquillos, Executive Director, 826 LA
Margaret Meagher, Program Manager, Youth Learning, The MasterCard Foundation
Vivian Onano, Ambassador, Global Give Back Circle
Richard Robbins, Founder and Director,The Documentary Group
Student Services Center, Multipurpose Room
Working Session: Changing Tides: Addressing Ocean Degradation
The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poignantly reminds us that we cannot take our oceans’ health for granted. Nearly half of the world’s population lives within 200 kilometers of the coast, a number that is expected to double by 2025. More than half of all Americans live on or near the coast, and one in every six jobs in the U.S. is marine-related. But pollution and ecological degradation threaten the productivity of the oceans and the livelihoods that depend on them. Oceans are routinely subject to overfishing, harmful algal blooms from sewage and fertilizer runoff, and islands of floating plastic waste. How can students and universities tackle an issue of such massive scale and complexity? This panel will bring together ocean experts and individuals with years of hands-on project experience to illustrate the role that students can play in restoring healthy ocean ecosystems and the livelihoods that depend on them.
Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and Founder, Mission Blue
Donna Frye, Co-owner, Skip Frye Surfboards; Founder, Surfers Tired of Pollution
Mitchell Lay, Coordinator, Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations
Bryson Robertson, Director, Ocean Gybe; Student, University of Guelph
Ted Waitt, President, Waitt Foundation


4:00 PM -5:30 PM Center Hall, Room 101
Working Session: Scarcity and Crisis: Food, Water, and Energy as a Right and a Conflict Driver
The age of “easy oil” is virtually over, with most remaining reserves in politically unstable or geographically hard-to-reach locations, further increasing the risk of price volatility. Global food security appears similarly unstable as the productivity gains of the 20th century’s Green Revolution are stagnating, even as food demand is forecast to rise by 50 percent by 2030. In 2009, the number of undernourished people in the world rose by 150 million to more than a billion, spurred by the spike in food costs and the ensuing global economic downturn. This triggered political unrest in 61 countries, while more than 30 countries introduced food export bans or restrictions. Finally, unsustainable surface and ground water extraction, combined with the impacts of climate change, will only exacerbate existing water scarcity issues in many parts of the world. This session will examine how resource scarcity drives political instability and violence. Panelists will highlight promising opportunities for action and existing effective strategies for addressing the looming food, water, and energy crises.
Nnimmo Bassey, Chair, Friends of the Earth International
Alexandra Cousteau, Founder and President, Blue Legacy International
Julia Hausermann, Founder and President, Rights and Humanity
Joshua Newton, Student and Consultant, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Price Center, Ballroom East
Working Session: Seeking Shelter: The Power of Safe and Affordable Housing
By the year 2030, 3 billion people around the world will lack access to safe, affordable housing. To meet this need, 96,150 new housing units need to be created each day over the next twenty years. After food and water, shelter is one of the most fundamental human needs. The often complex and interrelated causes of homelessness are many and varied – from illness to recession, from political unrest to natural disasters. In the U.S., foreclosures are still forcing thousands of families out of their homes each month. Without an address, individuals cannot qualify for welfare programs, including food stamps and government health care. In our increasingly urban world, more than 1 billion people now live in slums. This panel will look at the relationship between housing and poverty, and will highlight smart housing projects that are addressing the shelter needs of the poor while also incorporating broader social and environmental needs.
Claude Jeudy, National Director, Habitat for Humanity Haiti
Bryan Mauk, Executive Director, Su Casa
Ananya Roy, Professor, Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley
Kate Stohr, Managing Director, Architecture for Humanity


4:00 PM -5:30 PM Price Center, Ballroom West A, Level 2
Working Session: The Global Paradox: Hunger and Obesity
As the world recovers from recent food and financial crises, nearly 1 billion people remain hungry, while another 1 billion are overweight. At no other time in history has the world experienced such a discrepancy between the number of people who are either obese or face acute starvation. In many households around the globe, a lack of financial capital contributes to both hunger and obesity, a paradox that is created in part by the economics of buying food. Cheap, high-calorie foods are sought out by some households to save limited funds and stave off hunger, while other families struggle to find any food to eat at all. The escalating levels of global hunger and obesity are entwined in a single issue: the inability to get food where it is needed and the inability of the hungry to afford it. Yet eliminating food insecurity is feasible. Panelists will share examples from their efforts to end hunger and malnutrition, and discuss potential roles that students can play in the prevention of these two public health crises.
Mark Arnoldy, Founder, Nepal NUTrition
Lorena Garcia, Executive Chef and Restauranteur, Lorena Garcia Group
Ellen Gustafson, Founder and Executive Director, The 30 Project
Raj Patel, Fellow, Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Center Hall, Room 109
Skill Session: Creating Buzz: Using Social Media to Market Your Cause
Beyond a quick press release or an article in the school newspaper, what are some creative ways to raise the profile of the work done by CGI U members? This session will address both traditional marketing and media strategies and successful new media and digital organizing strategies,including web and film.
Dan Morrison, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Citizen Effect
Victoria Nastri, University Relations, mtvU


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM • Center Hall, Room 119
Skill Session: From the Bottom Up: Grassroots Community Engagement
How do you work with communities instead of for them? This skill session will focus on commitments that work within underserved communities on both a domestic and global level. Discussions will focus on developing projects in a culture-specific context, creating community-based approaches in partnership with local leadership, and other challenges specific to community engagement.
Claire-Cecile Pierre, Director, Program in Health Systems Strengthening and Social Change, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Michael de la Rocha, Singer-Songwriter; Legislative Deputy, Office of Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Center Hall, Room 113
Skill Session: Raising Money for Your Commitment
This session will explore the resources available to commitment makers in order to secure funding for their respective projects. Key themes of this skill session will include effective and innovative fundraising strategies, potential funding opportunities, and grant writing skills.
Daniel Epstein, Founding President, Unreasonable Institute
Manmeet Mehta , Program Officer, GlobalGiving


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM • Center Hall, Room 105
Skill Session: The Next Step: Moving from Idea to Action
This student-led session is geared towards individuals in the early stages of their commitments. Former CGI U commitment-makers will guide attendees through the process of turning a commitment from vision to reality, while discussing partnership building, fundraising strategies, and other relevant skills needed to develop a successful commitment.
Cynthia Koenig, Founder and CEO, Wello
Kyle McCollom, Founder, Triple Thread Apparel


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM RIMAC Arena
Plenary Session: A Conversation with President Clinton
Press set-time: 4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
What can students learn from those who are working on the front lines in some of the most distressed places on the planet? How can CGI U attendees translate their ambitious commitments into meaningful results in the months and years ahead? This conversation will highlight how individuals and organizations can effectively work in partnership with under-resourced communities in an empowering, productive, and ultimately successful manner.
President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States
Kennedy Odede, President and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities
Sean Penn, Humanitarian and Actor; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, J/P Haitian Relief Organization


Sunday, April 3
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM CGI U Service Project at the San Diego Food Bank
9850 Distribution Avenue, San Diego, CA 92121
The CGI U Service Project will be held at the SanDiego Food Bank. The San Diego Food Bank, established in 1977, provides food to over 340,000 individuals monthly, while also advocating for the hungry and educating the public about hunger-related issues. Funded by foundations, grants, the USDA, corporations, and individual donors, the Food Bank distributes over 18 million pounds of food annually to individuals and families directly and through a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout the county. Attendees who participate in this morning of service will be assigned to one of eight volunteer projects held concurrently alongside a large scale food distribution for targeted local low-income military and non-military families. The projects will include: packaging food for the Senior Food Program, distributing food to low-income military and non-military families, sorting, inspecting & packing food for the Emergency Food Program, landscaping work around the Food Bank’s 72,000 sq. ft. warehouse, internal and external beautification projects, and a mural painting on-site, as well as packaging healthy weekend food bags for chronically hungry elementary school students on the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. The work and support of CGI U Service Project attendees in April will account for over 2,500 hours of service for the Food Bank.


(9:30-10:00 AM)
Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell,Chairman, San Diego Food Bank
Irwin M. Jacobs, Former Chairman, Qualcomm Incorporated
J.R. Martinez, Actor and Speaker,
President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States


Press parking: reserved on-site
Press entrance: signage at site providing directions
Press set-time: 7:30-8:00 AM
Cable run: 100 feet
Mult, riser and power provided.


The following commitments were announced Saturday:


Ban the Bag
Student: Elena Buenrostro
School: University of California, San Diego
Elena commits to spread awareness about the plastic debris accumulating in our oceans, and encourage people to adopt alternatives to plastic bags. Through partnerships with the San Diego Coastkeeper and the San Diego Surfrider foundations, Elena will collect signatures to petition for an ordinance to ban plastics bags in the city of San Diego. She will also create a series of art pieces to spread public awareness of plastic bag consumption.
Bridging the U.S-MexicoBorder: Regional Dialogue through Global Education
Students: James Vancel, Angela Barraza, Francisco Lara Garcia, and Ariel Sim
School: University of Arizona
Francisco, Ariel, James, and Angela commit to expand Arizona Model United Nations, a university student club that sends delegates from local high schools to simulated United Nations conferences. They will make the club accessible to underprivileged high school students on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border by subsidizing conference participation costs for 50 students in Sonora, Mexico, and the Arizona counties of Pima and Maricopa. They will also hold web seminars for all participating students on topics including the United Nations and world history.
Building the Foundation for Sustainability on the Menominee Reservation
Student: Marcus Grignon
School: American University
Marcus, the youngest Menominee ever to be elected to a position within the Menominee Tribal Government, was awarded a CGI U 2009 Outstanding Commitment Award for his plan to teach students at the Menominee Tribal School about renewable energy, social entrepreneurship, and gardening. This year, he will develop a new “community food system” on a 100-acre plot on the Menominee Indian Reservation to grow produce for Menominee families and neighboring communities. Menominee Indians will also develop a business plan to sell their produce to local businesses.
CAL Community Kitchen (CCK)
Student: Jacquelyn Hoffman
School: University of California at Berkeley
Jacquelyn commits to establish CAL Community Kitchen, a house where students and community organizations will sort leftover food they collect from local restaurants and assemble boxed meals for families in need. CAL Community Kitchen will be located in a building already owned by UC Berkeley. In addition to distributing nutritionally sound meals to families, the organization will hand out nutrition and health pamphlets with each box of food.
Clean Water and Efficient Fuel Usage for Rural Kenya
Students: Abdullah Saleh, Abraam Isaac, Subir Sutradhar, Jessica Hogan, Andre Isaac
School: University of Alberta
Subir, Abdullah, and Abraam helped found the Kenya Ceramic Project in 2007 to introduce innovative ceramic water filters and stoves to rural Kenyans. Since then, these students have built a factory in the village of Kiminini, in western Kenya, and hired local employees to oversee production and provide raw materials. The water filters have been shown to clear nearly 100% of disease causing pathogens from the water sources. The stoves use renewable resources and waste as fuel sources, instead of kerosene and firewood. The students now commit to make their products available to 250,000 people in the next five years.
Clean Water for Haitian Batey Altagracia
Students: Matthew Mullane, Brad Venghaus, Krista Young, and Tiffany Castellano
School: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Brad, Matthew, Krista, and Tiffany commit to install a water filtration system, which will provide more than 400 people in Batey Altagracia with a clean water source. They will assess possible locations for the water filtration system, then purchase and install a Pura UV-BB-1 water filter using money they raise from campus and other community events. They will partner with the International Medical Alliance of Tennessee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care and nutrition in Haitian Bateyes, which are border villages where sugarcane workers live.

Collaborating on Irrigation to Fight Hunger
Students: Kiflu Arega Tesfaye and William Montoya
School: Luther College
Student: Ezra Mengistu Nigussie
School: Willamette University
William, Kiflu, and Ezra formed I-ImpactNow in 2009 to develop a farmer’s cooperative in the village of Datu Wereda, Ethiopia. They installed an irrigation system, introduced affordable seasonal crops, and built a storage barn for 20 farmers and their families. They now commit, over the next year, to recruit an additional 30 farmers and institute a microfinance program that will foster the growth of other similar cooperatives. I-ImpactNow is already partnering with international NGOs established in Ethiopia, such as Intervolve and Oxfam, which already provide loans to beneficiaries.
Congo Youth Leadership Network
Student: Stella Safari
School: Dartmouth College
Stella commits to create a youth network in Bukavu, in South Kivu Province in Eastern DRC. In partnership with local NGOs and schools, Stella will coordinate a seven-week summer program for 30 young people—15 boys and 15 girls—who are in their last year of secondary school. She is designing a curriculum on leadership and social change that will examine three major issues in DRC, develop practical solutions, and establish action goals. The program will also include strategic planning, fundraising, stress-management, and communication skills workshops, incorporating guest speakers.

Dialogue and Conflict Resolution
Student: Mustafa Babak
School: University of the Pacific
Mustafa, who is from Afghanistan, commits to develop a radio program about peace-building efforts that will be led by 8 Afghan teenagers and 2 civil society representatives from disparate regions. The radio shows will incorporate short interviews with people on the street, success stories related to conflict resolution, and discussions among the 8 Afghan youth. They will talk about their personal experiences of war and conflict, as well as innovative non-violent alternatives. They will also promote the importance of education in a country where just 23 percent of boys and 7 percent of girls are enrolled in secondary school. Some episodes will be recorded live at village meetings and schools.The shows will be broadcast on stations throughout Afghanistan.
DreamGirls International Outreach and Mentoring Program
Student: Shirley Diaz, Amrit Kaur, Marie Paul Dieket, and Rosalie Abeng
School: University of Nevada, Reno
DreamGirls is committing to expand to South Africa. DreamGirls is an all-female, student-run campus club that seeks to increase college graduation rates for minority women. It connects local high school girls in Reno with college student mentors from the University of Nevada who have similar backgrounds. Now, with the help of faculty at the University of Nevada, the club will recruit South African political figures, college faculty, and business owners to act as mentors to adolescent girls who are working to enter and finish high school, and who are considering higher education.
Education for Female Maquiladora Workers
Student: Jennifer Billings
School: Thunderbird School of Global Management
Jennifer is representing the Thunderbird Global MBA team, which commits to establish a weekly education program for 50 female maquiladora workers in Tijuana, Mexico. The Thunderbird team will ask factory owners in Tijuana to donate classroom space and money. The team will also seek assistance from local NGOs to assist with recruiting students and developing a curriculum. They will also hold campus events to raise funds for supplies and transportation expenses for 5 volunteer teachers. Instructors will be certified teachers from California and Mexico who are willing to donate their time. Classroom topics will include: English, health, math, and reading.
Electronics Recycling
Student: Andrew Ajello
School: University of California, San Diego
Andrew, the founder and CEO of an EPA-licensed e-waste recycling company, commits to partner with other UC San Diego students and local community volunteers to develop a San Diego-based electronic waste recycling organization. Volunteers will conduct awareness campaigns to educate residents and local businesses about the environmental and economic benefits of proper electronic recycling. They will also design and implement a system for collecting electronic materials for transportation to local recycling plants.
Empowering Landfill Communities Through Energy, Education, and Entrepreneurship
Students: Henry Chao, Nasir Uddin and Neil Ramchandani
School: Rutgers University
Student: Sarbjit Buttar
School: Seton Hall University
Henry, Nasir, Sarbjit, and Neil represent EMPOWER Energy Group, an organization formed by Rutgers and Princeton University students, which committed to recycle trash in a landfill near Karachi, Pakistan last year. Because of local political barriers, the group has changed locations to the Matuail landfill in Jatrabari, Bangladesh. There are 3,000 households in the town and 2,000 of its residents, including 1,200 children, are waste pickers. EMPOWER commits to teach these residents to compost their garbage, as well as process it in a biodigester, an inexpensive tool that uses microorganisms to convert organic waste into methane gas. This methane will then be processed through a generator and converted to electricity for the community’s school, which is run by the local nonprofit Grambangla Unnayan.


Energy Efficiency in Action
Students: Alexandra Solomatova and Hong Durandal
School: Berea College
Kentucky has the third highest poverty rate in the nation. It is also the third largest coal-producing state. Its residents rely on coal to generate more than 90 percent of their electricity. Alexandra and Hong recently formed Energy Hunters, which commits to conduct free energy audits for at least 120 households in Eastern Kentucky this year. They will partner with Sustainable Berea—a local organization that develops sustainable housing. Energy Hunters projects that 36 of these 120 households will install the recommended energy upgrades, which would save 2.5 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year. Through this effort, they hope to reduce Kentuckians’ energy use and their dependence on coal.


Eyes on El Salvador: Satellite-Based Natural Disaster Monitoring and the Engagement of the Public as Citizen Scientists
Student: Katrina Laygo
School: University of California, Los Angeles
In 2009, Hurricane Ida caused severe damage in Central America. Flooding from the storm washed away entire harvests, homes, and livelihoods, and displaced nearly 140,000 people. Katrina commits to design and install a satellite-based drought and flood monitoring system in El Salvador that will allow local communities to assess and monitor the after-effects of natural disasters. She will use NASA satellites to create maps of disaster-prone areas. These hazard maps will show before-and-after flooding imagery, and will be consistently updated to monitor which areas are affected by hurricanes and storms. Katrina will partner with local organizations in El Salvador to ensure that communities have access to the maps and know how to respond to the information they relay.


Field Testing of a Telemedicine Healthcare System in Eastern Africa
Student: Katelyn Holmes and George Joseph Moroney
School: Pennsylvania State University
Kenya has 1 doctor for every 10,000 people, compared with nearly 1 in 300 for Americans. And people who live in rural Kenya often have no access to medical professionals. Katelyn and Joe commit to expand the reach of a Penn State initiative called Mashavu, which builds telemedicine kiosks in rural Africa for patients who do not live near doctors. The kiosks are manned by trained operators who record patients’ medical information and upload it via cell phone to a website. A doctor in a nearby city or town responds with advice or a diagnosis, and the operators relay the information to patients. Katelyn and Joe will install kiosks and train kiosk operators in a new location, the central Kenyan town of Nyeri.


Foot Care for the Homeless
Student: Benjamin Thomas
School: Des Moines University
For homeless people in the U.S., foot conditions and diseases are often a constant fact of life.
Many lack the resources or life skills for proper foot care. This can lead to life-threatening infections, as well as amputation. Benjamin Thomas commits to incorporate podiatric care into Des Moines University’s Homeless Camp Outreach program, through which physicians and medical students treat patients at homeless shelters twice a month. He will organize podiatric physician and volunteer involvement so that at least 20 patients will be treated during each shelter visit, and 100 percent of the patients who require ongoing care will receive follow-up treatment.


The Grassroot Project Expansion and Evaluation
Student: Tyler Spencer
School: Oxford University
Washington, D.C. has the highest rate of AIDS and HIV of any state or district in the United States, with one out of every 100 people between the ages of 13 and 24 in D.C. infected with HIV or AIDS. Spencer commits to expand The Grassroot Project’s HIV prevention program to reach 500 public middle school students in Washington, D.C. The Grassroot Project will train 150 college athletes from Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, and American Universities, as well as the University of Maryland, to facilitate its sports-based eight-week HIV prevention and life skills program.


Growth Advocacy for Women Abroad (G.A.W.A)
Student: Raquel Enad and Hanh Nguyen
School: Stanford University
Approximately 2 million Filipinos work abroad, including hundreds of thousands of women who are domestic workers in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Many of these women are abused, and contend with food deprivation, forced confinement to their workplaces, unpaid wages, and physical and sexual abuse. Raquel and Hanh recently formed Growth Advocacy for Women Abroad, an initiative that will connect Filipina domestic workers who are returning to the Philippines with formal training in business development and administration, and grants to help them launch their own businesses. Before Raquel and Hanh go to the Philippines, they will hold fundraisers on campus and in their communities, and they will launch a website through which individuals can lend or donate small amounts of money.


Healthy Choices Project
Student: Charlotte Crone
School: North Carolina Central University
Last year, Charlotte Crone implemented a four-week program to fight childhood obesity in two Durham, North Carolina elementary school classrooms. She provided weekly meal plans, food stamp compliant grocery lists, and recipes to feed a family of four for $50 a week. She also included a list of simple indoor exercises. Students—all from ethnic and socioeconomic groups deemed most at risk for childhood obesity by the CDC—tracked their progress with reward charts. Now, Charlotte commits to scale up her initiative for the 2011 to 2012 school year. She is partnering with the principal, teachers, and parents at a local elementary school to put her program into place for 500 pre-K to 5th grade students at a cost of $10 per child. She is working to raise the $5,000 necessary to give these at-risk students a healthier start in life.

Healthy Living Program
Student: Kevin Phan
School: University of California, Irvine
There are more than 8,000 homeless people in Orange County, California. Kevin commits to coordinate 2 ten-week courses on health maintenance for formerly homeless residents of the Costa Mesa Motor Inn. These residents, all families, pay subsidized rent based on their incomes, and receive housing and life skills lessons from The Illumination Foundation, a local Orange County nonprofit. Kevin will recruit undergraduates and medical student volunteers from UC Irvine to conduct classes for the foundation and the families it helps. Health seminars will cover the importance of a balanced diet, smoking cessation, exercise, healthy cooking techniques, and how to prevent and treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

impossible2Possible University Development Initiative
Individual: Bob Cox
Organization: impossible2Possible
impossible2Possible, a national youth organization, facilitates visits by college students to local primary and secondary schools to host classes on community service. It provides the college volunteers with guides for contacting their local public schools, and conducting workshops with students about specific service projects the college students have already completed. They then work with teachers to develop a related project—such as a fundraising event—for the class to carry out. Since its inception 3 years ago, impossible2Possible has worked with thousands of college volunteers, and helped K-12 teachers and students integrate community service with social studies, history, and other curriculums. impossible2Possible commits, over the next two years, to develop a global network of 10,000 university students who will work with schools in the cities and towns where they live.


Incentives For Opportunity
Student: Maclen Zilber
School: University of California, San Diego
In 2009, the American Opportunity Tax Credit increased the federal tax credit for higher education. It allows students to take a credit of up to $2,500 a year for four years for tuition, books, supplies, and other school-related expenses. But many students do not know it exists. Mac Zilber commits to inform thousands of UCSD students about the tax credit. He will partner with the UCSD bookstore, the student government, and the financial aid office to disseminate easy-to-understand information about how students can apply for the credit and save thousands of dollars each year. Mac will partner with the UCSD bookstore to print an informational blurb on receipts, and to start a program through which students can receive automatic email reminders of what they bought and how they can write off the purchases on their taxes. He will organize information sessions and educational events, and partner with the student government to send a campus-wide e-mail about the tax credit. His goal is to save UCSD students at least an additional $2.5 million dollars per year.

Lighting Up Post-Disaster Communities
Students: Erika Jue and Maria Elisa Martinez
School: University of California, San Diego
Student: Lila Petersen
School: Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
In February 2010, Chile was hit with a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake that claimed more than 700 lives. The epicenter was near Concepcion, the second largest city in Chile, and 500,000 homes were damaged. Erika, Maria, and Lila commit to provide off-grid, solar-powered lighting for 50 families that were displaced by the earthquake and live in transitional shelters in Concepcion. Community members will be trained to maintain the devices. When the families move to permanent housing, they will be able to take the mobile solar panels with them; the units can be moved and installed by a single person, quickly and easily.


Locally Fabricated Model Home for Haiti
Student: Michael Murphy
School: Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design
Michael Murphy is Executive Director of MASS Design Group, which he co-founded in 2008 to provide architectural services for underserved populations. This year, MASS Design commits to design and build a prototype home in Corporant, a village about 25 miles north of Port-au-Prince, which will be used as a model for better housing in Haiti. The home will incorporate Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks, which will be manufactured by local craftsmen who will learn new techniques during the construction process. The blocks’ interlocking design is earthquake resistant and restricts the spread of airborne diseases, such as tuberculosis, which improperly ventilated shelters can spread to family members.


Making UC-discovered Medicines Affordable Worldwide
Individual: Bryan Collinsworth
Organization: Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
The University of California system is the world’s second-largest holder of biomedical patents. Yet, it does not have an official policy to ensure that its medical innovations reach people in need. Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, a national youth organization, commits to recruit 1,000 students at University of California campuses to advocate for new licensing rules. Volunteers—including graduate students in law, medicine, and global health—will petition their campuses to adopt provisions that require companies who buy and manufacture UC-discovered medicine to make that medicine available at low cost to the developing world. The students will meet with university administrators, hold campus events and lectures, as well as reach out to members of the media and public figures.


Mawuvio's Outreach Programme
Student: Renee Farwell
School: Roosevelt University
There are more than 1 million orphans living in Ghana and many of them have no opportunity to attend school. In fact, 33 percent of Ghanaian primary school-aged children are out of school. Renee and Eric Kwame Agoe, a village leader in Kisseman, Ghana, recently co-founded Mawuvio’s Outreach Programme, which provides free education to local orphans. The group is currently raising money through ongoing fundraisers on the Roosevelt University campus, and partnering with an organization in Kisseman that pays teachers’ salaries. Renee commits to oversee construction of a building where orphans will live and go to school. The new facility will house 50 boys and 50 girls, and will include 6 classrooms. Renee and Eric will continue to recruit and pay teachers, as well as provide food, clothing, and other supplies to the orphans through their local partner organizations in Ghana.

Individual: Chris Yura
Organization: Sustain U founder and CEO
Sustain U is a clothing company in Morgantown, West Virginia, that uses100-percent recycled fiber to design and manufacture apparel for young adults.Their mission is to change the way clothes are made and to reinvigorate America’s manufacturing sector. Sustain U’s CGI U 2011 commitment is to scale up and formalize their campus outreach program, “oneShirt National Collegiate Clothing Drive,” to work with students at 200 to 300 schools in all 50 states, and to save 100,000 pounds of clothing from landfills. Sustain U is working to formalize relationships with Goodwill Industries International and other organizations that recycle 100 percent of the clothing they do not sell.


Operation Esperanza
Student: Robert Palacios
School: Oberlin College
Robert is from El Paso, just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, and he has been actively engaged in educating Oberlin students about violence in the city. Now, Robert commits to establish Operation Esperanza, which will identify and fund at least 5 projects to improve quality of life in Ciudad Juarez. Initiatives might include renovating schools and churches, cleaning and maintaining public parks, and purchasing musical instruments for afterschool programs. Operation Esperanza will host benefit recitals, concerts, and art exhibits in Oberlin and Boston, and work with established organizations and local nonprofits in Ciudad Juarezto ensure that funds reach those in need.

Practical Guides for Survival
Student: Junette Maxis
School: Luther College
Junette, who is from Haiti and has worked with women entrepreneurs there, commits to recruit a group of Haitian engineering students to compile disaster response instructions that she will translate into Creole. Her series of free booklets will be called “Practical Guides for Survival.” Junette’s student partners will survey their communities to assess which information is most needed. They will research and write booklets in French, send them to professors at their universities for final review, and then Junette will translate them into Creole. 3,000 copies of the first booklet, about electrical security, will be printed by two Haitian printers with funds Junette and her partners have raised. They will be distributed this summer to high school students who will circulate the books and information among their families and communities. Junette’s group will also work with Haitian radio stations to broadcast the information to people who do not read in any language.


Programs to Ensure Migrants Succeed
Student: Pegah Javidpour
School: National-Louis University
Student: Sarina Hickey
School: University of Texas at Austin
B.R.I.D.G.E.—Building Roads for Individuals Dedicated to Growth in Education—addresses the unique educational needs of migrant children. Last summer, the week-long B.R.I.D.G.E. summer program was inaugurated. Students from a high school in Houston travelled the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to help a local non-profit organization rebuild rural homes for low income families living along the Texas-Mexico Border. In 2011, B.R.I.D.G.E. commits to create a College Prep Program, which will facilitate workshops, organize college tours, and match migrant students with undergraduate mentors at the University of Texas-Pan American. The undergraduate mentors will also be from in migrant families.


Sally Centrifuge: A low-cost, hand powered centrifuge
Students: Lila Kerr and Lauren Thesis
School: Rice University
Lauren and Lila commit to distribute 30 of their low-cost, hand-powered anemia diagnostic devices to doctors and clinics in developing countries, such as Ecuador, Swaziland, Rwanda, and Malawi. Their device, called the “Sally,” is a simple centrifuge that uses the technology of a salad spinner to diagnose anemia in blood samples drawn from pregnant women and other patients. It costs far less to manufacture than existing models, and does not require electrical power, which makes it appropriate for low-resource settings. Lauren and Lila developed the “Sally” in 2009, and have since demonstrated their device to health ministries, hospitals, and NGOs in five countries in Africa and South America. They are completing clinical trials now and will distribute the “Sallys” once they have been approved for use.


School for flood-affected village in Pakistan
Student: Mehr Toor
School: Cornell University
Mehr represents the Flood Relief Drive, a student-led organization at her recent alma mater, the Lahore University of Management Studies. She and her colleagues at the Flood Relief Drive commit to construct a three-room school for primary through high school-aged youth in the village of Karari Nur, Pakistan, which was severely affected by last summer’s floods. The Flood Relief Drive has been working in Karari Nur since August 2010. It supplies construction materials, training, and technical consultants for new houses built by the villagers. The new school will be the first community building erected since the floods. The Flood Relief Drive has raised $50,000 for its projects through foundations, events, and online donations through the Lahore University of Management Studies website.


Seeds for Change
Student: Sara Estevez Cores
School: Scripps College
Mangrove trees play a vital role in coastal ecosystems, providing food and a natural habitat for marine life and protecting shorelines against erosion. The Philippines has lost up to 90 percent of its mangrove trees since the 1970s, because fish farmers cut them down to make way for fish and shrimp ponds. In 2009, when Sara was a high school senior, she and a teacher organized a 7-day trip for 8 students to care for mangrove trees in the Philippines. The project proved so successful that Sara is expanding it this year. She commits to recruit students at her school to plant 300 mangrove trees on the island of Romblon, in the central Philippines. The group will raise money for their trip through a website and campus events. Once in the Philippines, they will volunteer through SERVE, a Filipino organization that designs projects for international volunteers.


Students: Ralph Passarella, Sam Khalifian, and Atul Nakhasi
School: John Hopkins University
Student: Abhay Nadipuram
School: University of Iowa
For Americans at risk for obesity, the single most effective way to exercise is for a friend or relative to exercise alongside them. Ralph, Sam, Atul, and Abhay recently created ShoutOut, a commitment to combat obesity in Baltimore City. ShoutOut will provide residents with an internet-based social network, called Health eBuddy, which promotes healthy lifestyles and facilitates interaction between people with the same health goals. 500 initial users have already agreed to create health profiles on the website, where they can track both their own progress and that of their family and friends. They will be able to connect with others who have similar goals in the Baltimore area, and invite family and friends—600 of which ShoutOut estimates will become frequent users of the website.


Start a mediation program "safe zone" at a local public high school.
Student: Kiera Murphy
School: California Lutheran University
In a recent study by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, nearly two-thirds of gay high school and middle school students say they feel unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation. Kiera commits to create a gay rights awareness raising program at Thousand Oaks High School in southern California. She will coordinate a structured session for 20 gay and straight students each month, and connect them with mentors from her university who can talk about the issues gay people face in their community. Kiera will partner with her school’s Young Democrats club and Gay-Straight Alliance to assemble a group of university students to volunteer and implement the program. She will also work with administrators at Thousand Oaks High School to recruit participants.


Straight Talk for Teens
Students: Hilary Trudell and Heidi Justice
School: Clinton School of Public Service
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens are up to 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Straight Talk for Teens will create an awareness program to address bullying and LGBTQ issues among teens. By May 2012, 200 students from 4 middle and high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas will have taken part in the awareness curriculum Heidi and Hilary are designing. They will collaborate with Just Communities of Arkansas to recruit diverse panels of 4 to 5 young people to share their stories with groups of students, dispel myths and stereotypes, and answer anonymous questions. Straight Talk for Teens will be based on JCA's program, “Straight Talk,” which has been successfully implemented and is endorsed by the ACLU. Heidi and Hilary will launch their program through school-sponsored gay-straight alliances and social justice clubs.

Sustainable Living and Research House
Students: Kristina Casagrand, Monica Everett, and Kat Seal
School: University of Missouri,Columbia
Missouri is the tenth highest carbon polluting state in the U.S. Each Missouri resident produces an average of 25 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Kristina, Monica, and Kat commit to retrofit and operate a sustainable living residence where 8 University of Missouri students will live. They will partner with their campus Sustainability Office, the City of Columbia, the Community Garden Coalition, and Mid-Missouri Peaceworks to ensure that their house is equipped with the latest energy-saving technology and that its residents know how to make the most of the house’s features. Residents will be selected from a pool of student applicants. They will minimize consumption of non-renewable resources, use solar panels, help to weatherize their home, and recycle and compost their waste. They will also launch a website to provide information on recycling, community gardens, public transportation, and bike routes, as well as updates on the house’s progress.


Tunnel of Oppression
Student: Vashisht Madabhushi
School: University of California, San Diego
25 percent of LGBT university students and employees say they have been victims of harassment, compared to 12 percent of heterosexual students. Vashisht commits to build a “Tunnel of Oppression” that focuses on LGBT issues. Tunnels of Oppression are interactive exhibits on college campuses that raise awareness. Participants walk through a confined tunnel, decorated with images and stories, to experience what it is like to be surrounded by discrimination. At the end of Vashisht’s Tunnel, he will ask more than 200 participants to make a CGI U-like commitment to help prevent prejudice against LGBT people. He will partner with the LGBT Resource Center at UC San Diego, as well as local businesses that will provide funding and advertising.


Veterans Voice
Student: Abigail Malchow
School: University of San Diego
Prior to studying at the University of San Diego, Abigail spent eight years in the Navy where she provided direct disaster relief to Hurricane Katrina victims. She deployed to Okinawa in 2005 and to Iraq in 2006 with the Marines. She is still serving as a reservist and is a member of the Student International Business Council on her campus; she is working with them on a project for Sierra Leoneon women called “Peace Links.” Abigail commits to raise funds, continue food drives, and generate opportunities for education for homeless veterans in San Diego.

VOX/Planned Parenthood Integrative Sex Ed Program
Students: Justin Prince, Oly Khowash, and Tisha Tuong
School: University of California, San Diego
Attempted suicide rates are more than 4 times higher for lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students than they are for their heterosexual peers.Yet, while 86 percent of American public high schools teach abstinence, most offer no education about sexual identity and orientation. VOX commits to distribute informational materials and give 5 presentations on sexual health and relationship skills to 100 seniors at local San Diego high schools, with a special emphasis on sexual orientation and LGBT issues. VOX will partner with the Planned Parenthood to design the program, train educators, and coach teens to become peer-educators. After the completion of VOX’s one-year trial run, its members will ask participants to evaluate the program and compare retention rates to those of sex education programs that are already in place.


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