"Action" Projects Featured at the Clinton Global Initiative University

Clinton Global Initiative
April 01, 2012

Columbian College students joined the ranks of Bill Clinton, Usher, Madeleine Albright, Jon Stewart, and some of the world’s foremost social entrepreneurs to present their innovative ideas at the Clinton Global Initiative University hosted by GW in March. Ranging from education in Africa to feeding the homeless here in D.C., these projects highlight some of Columbian’s brightest and most highly-motivated students in their “Commitment to Action” to help make a difference.

To attend the three-day meeting, participants had to pitch a specific plan that addresses a problem that may be as close as the other side of their campus or as far as away as the other side of the world. The following are the projects submitted by Columbian College students. For a complete story about the event, click here.

Banaa: The Sudan Educational Empowerment Network

Ryan Brenner, junior, CCAS
Brian Browne, sophomore, CCAS
Makwei Deng, senior, CCAS
Kelsey Lax, sophomore, ESIA

Banaa: The Sudan Educational Empowerment Network is committed to sustaining and improving the current Banaa scholarship program, which is designed to train a new generation of ethnically diverse leaders to break the cycle of violence in Sudan. To achieve its commitment, this group plans to offer two new scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year. Additionally, the group plans to organize and host the first annual Banaa Scholar Summit, which aims to bring together current scholars, policy analysts, development practitioners, and members of the Sudanese diaspora.

Meal Rescue

Makonnen Jackman, sophomore, CCAS
Eric Su, sophomore, CCAS

Meal Rescue is committed to soliciting unsold food from local restaurants to donate to D.C.’s homeless population. To achieve this goal, the students will develop and implement a system of collection and delivery, allowing restaurants and local eateries to give back to their communities while simultaneously tackling the pervasive hunger problem. Meal Rescue will build rapport with as many restaurants as possible to maximize the amount of food collected and subsequently distributed, working to find nutritious options to help improve the health of those served.

Suicide Prevention: An Art-Based Curriculum Proposal

Julia Blankenship, graduate student, CCAS

Suicide Prevention: An Art-Based Curriculum Proposal is committed to developing and implementing an art-based suicide prevention curriculum for the adolescent population of the Oglala tribe of the Lakota at Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. The American Indian population has suffered adversity in several aspects of its existence, including historical trauma, alcoholism, socioeconomic problems, and psychosocial issues, and these factors increase the adolescent population’s risk for thoughts of suicide and suicidal behavior.

The Young Movers and Shakers of D.C.

Salvador Briggman, junior, CCAS
Ilana Stein, senior, CCAS

The Young Movers and Shakers of D.C. is dedicated to empowering local youth to identify domestic or community-based problems and work to provide market solutions. These students hope to achieve their commitment through an entrepreneurship education and mentorship program. The program will be comprised of after-school workshops, held twice a week throughout the course of the school year, that teach entrepreneurial and technical skills.

Rwandan Maternal Health Education Program

Joy Facella-Ervolini, sophomore, CCAS
Genna Panucci, senior, SPHHS
Alex Moran, sophomore, CCAS
Katy Stewart, junior, ESIA

GW’s GlobeMed chapter, in partnership with the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RCVP), a nonprofit student-run medical group at the National University of Rwanda, aims to strengthen and improve the Huye Health Clinic Maternal Health Education Program (MHEP) in Butare, Rwanda. Each summer, 50 women will enroll in MHEP to gain knowledge on topics ranging from nutrition to contraception, and they will receive a goat for income generation purposes at the end of the sessions. Upon completing the program, RVCP will monitor the women to track lifestyle improvements. This group aims to expand MHEP by incorporating additional education tools and spearheading an income generation initiative, thereby making it a sustainable and effective program for Rwanda’s Huye District. Members from GW’s GlobeMed chapter will travel to Rwanda in June 2012 to help teach the next series of MHEP sessions.