Tomorrow's Leaders Discuss Solutions to Pressing Global Issues at Clinton Global Initiative University

Twelve Nebraska Wesleyan University students have returned from San Diego, Calif., where they joined 1,200 of their peers to discuss solutions to pressing global issues.

The students were selected for the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative University. The summit builds on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges.

President Bill Clinton launched the summit for college students in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders.

“I was interested in learning what others my age are doing to make the world a more positive place and what is possible for me to do,” said NWU senior Kaycie Rupp.

Students gathered for a variety of presentations and conversations on the topics of education, environmental and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. They heard from prominent figures including Clinton, Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube, Jose Reyes Ferriz, former mayor of Juarez, Mexico, and Claude Jeudy, the national director for Habitat For Humanity in Haiti.

Students were required to develop their own commitments to action — a specific plan of action that addresses a pressing challenge on their campus or in their community.

Rupp is currently planning a senior class service project, “Leave A Print On Lincoln.” The project provides an opportunity for graduating seniors to give back to the community that has supported them during their college years.

“It is the hope of the project founders to support the community and encourage seniors to seek out service opportunities in their new communities, and inspire further commitments of action,” said Rupp.

Senior Jenna Rhodes committed to further developing the Guidance to Success Youth Mentoring Program, which she co-founded with NWU alum Angelo Stabler. Nebraska Wesleyan students meet weekly with minority youth to work on academics.

“This program has allowed Wesleyan students and minority youth to learn from one another in a safe environment,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes said she applied for the Clinton Global Initiative University so she could learn from others interested in mentoring and tutoring, and to specifically learn more about successful study habits that will strengthen the young students’ research, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Senior Shana Perry will apply what she learned from the summit to the university’s student newspaper. She plans to write a regular column devoted to underrepresented populations in Lincoln. Her column will feature service experiences and refugee stories.

Students Matt Sharky, Brent McKain, Tanya Krof, and Michael Sutherland applied together using their commitment to the new Waste Paper Initiative that they started last fall.

Other NWU students selected for the summit included Yoselin Corrales, Heather Bearnes, Madison Farmer, Madeline McDonald, and Brad Gilligan.

The summit concluded with a service project at the San Diego Food Bank.

“With this new knowledge, I can talk with the necessary individuals in order to create change on campus,” said Perry.


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Twelve NWU students were selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University.
President Bill Clinton founded the summit, which is aimed at engaging future leaders and their solutions to global issues.