"While I could spend my days asking, ‘Where is the need in this world?’ I know I’m asking the wrong question. Instead, I recite my mantra, the fiber of my thoughts and actions: ‘What is it that makes me come alive?’ I challenge others to take up this mantle, identifying where they feel ablaze with intention and purpose."

- Madeleine Polk, junior at Washington University in St. Louis, and CGI U participant. She is a graduate of Harpeth Hall School, Nashville.

Photo: President Bill Clinton, students and volunteers kick off this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University, held at Washington University in St. Louis. / Clinton Global Initiative / Barbara Kinney from The Tennessean.

In the art exhibit My Name is Strong, works from across the globe respond to gender-based violence. My Name is Strong was one of the many student-led projects endorsed by CGI U (Clinton Global Initiative University), which took place at Washington University in St. Louis in April 2013. 

(Source: news.wustl.edu)

CGI U leaves indelible mark on WUSTL

The sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) was a whirlwind exchange of ideas and inspirations, but now is when the real work begins: Making change happen. CGI U gave the participants – 200 of whom were WUSTL students – a much-needed boost.



'The world is waiting on us to stop waiting'

CGI U left a lasting impression on everyone, most especially the students. Here are some parting thoughts from WUSTL participants:

"Equal access to opportunity is a clear priority of the CGI U, but I was particularly impressed by the emphasis on gender equality, especially in STEM fields, and the projected world-wide positive economic influence such a change would incur."  

-Jamie Cavallo, MD

 “It was amazing to hear from the incredible variety of impressive human beings are coming together to tackle global development problems. It was great to see the variety of ways that we can approach a problem.-“

- Somalee Banerjee

"CGIU was a fantastic place to meet inspiring people from all over the world. Our group truly made many meaningful connections, and these connections are the birthplace of transformation for our project.

"We met a group of women who work with girls and women in Liberia who have all been impacted by gender-based violence. They hope to partner with us to spread the word to the people they work with and have them share their art and creative expressions as empowerment against violence in the world. … Meeting people like that is what made this entire weekend so phenomenal and invigorating!"

-Caroline Fish

"CGIU has been the highlight of my academic career in St. Louis. I was not only intrigued by the guest speakers, but inspired by the passion of many future social entrepreneurs from all over the world who are dedicated to making a positive change in society."

-Jay Celin

"One of the biggest reflections I have from my experience engaging with CGIU doers and thinkers — young and old alike — is that we can’t wait. The issues that threaten the well being of our society are not going to end if we continue waiting until we’re old enough, established enough, or ready enough. The world is waiting on us to stop waiting, and our CGIU commitments to action serve as our foundation to begin now."

-De Nichols

Chelsea Clinton on camera at Gateway STEM with the Today Show

Washington University Arts & Sciences freshmen Lisa Soumekh (left) and Sumeeta Salvador (middle) and first-year School of Medicine student Johanna Kaufman take a break from helping out at the CGI U service project at Gateway STEM. The three worked as CGI U volunteers all weekend - and said they loved it.

St. Louis Rams left tackle Jake Long and wide receiver Chris Givens decided to spend this Sunday helping out at the CGI U service project at Gateway STEM.

St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn busted out some work gloves to give a hand at the CGI U service project at Gateway STEM High. “I’m definitely honored to be able to come out here and serve with Bill Clinton and his initiative and to meet so many people taking time to give back to the community,” Quinn said.

Chelsea Clinton at CGI U Day of Action

Megan Carlson (left) and Katherine Wycoff, graduate students in the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy, pitched in at CGI U’s service project at Gateway STEM High. “This is really great,” Carlson said of the multi-faceted service project. “I’m so glad we did this.”