Three Miami University undergraduate students will be representing Miami for the first time at President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative Conference.
The conference will be held at the University of California, San Diego.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) allows college students to use their ideas to help solve problems around the world. This year, more than 1,000 students will hear Clinton speak at the three-day conference April 1 to 3. To be eligible for the conference, students must first applyand submit a “Commitment to Action” pledge. The pledge proposes to take a specific action to solve the problems around the world. The process was selective, with more than 3,000 applicants, according to CGI Director Keisha Senter. “We want to know what their plans will look like and we will ask students how many people will they be working with, details on how they are going to do it and timeframe,” Senter said of the application process.
She said the conference draws students from dozens of countries and hundreds of universities.
“This conference mobilizes and engages young people from around the world, and President Clinton challenges these people to come up with tangible action plans which we call Commitment to Actions,” Senter said. “This action plan can be in five focus areas: human rights and philanthropy, education and poverty, peace, public health, environment and climate change.”
The conference will consist of panel discussions with Clinton and other notable speakers, breakout sessions for discussion and a service project on the final day. Miami senior Jonathan Lawson was the first to show the opportunity to friends and colleagues, then Richard Mollette and Krista Mollette. Together, the three decided to apply. For their team, they picked the name Dlo 4 Haiti “Dlo means water in Kreyol (Haitian Creole), we picked this name off of our student organization Lespwa 4 Haiti, which means Hope for Haiti,” Krista Mollette said. “(The) cholera epidemic is a big issue going on in Haiti right now, so we want to come up with something that we can help and address that issue on a larger issue.” According to Lawson, the team’s plan of actions are to respond to the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The team plans to use a lifestraw, or individual water filters. Each straw filters up to 700 liters of water, equivalent to one year’s drinking water. Next, the group hopes to bring oral rehydration salts to Haiti in order to prevent dehydration. Last, Lawson said they want to create a cholera education plan to teach in Haitian schools and organizations.
“The conference is about students who have similar passions and coming together, working together,” Krista Mollette said. Sherrill Sellers, adviser for the students’ organization, is very proud of this group of the students’ commitment to help the nation of Haiti. “I am blown away,” Sellers said. “Krista has the passion for people of Haiti, and she’s got great energy and enthusiasm.” For more information, visit www.cgiu.org. The application deadline is Feb. 7.