CGIU, News

Chelsea Clinton, student media discuss on-campus projects

More than 6,500 students have made 4,800 commitments through the Clinton Global Initiative University, and at the University of Miami the 2015 CGIU has cultivated 95 commitments to action.

Chelsea Clinton met with members of student media for a roundtable discussion highlighting two UM students’ projects Saturday morning at the BankUnited Center.

“There are some people who very much kind of use their commitments as a launching pad for their careers,” she said. “We do know some pretty remarkable examples that we’re proud of having been able to support of people who’s commitments really became their callings and their professions.”

Senior Andrea O’Neal, along with Madelyn Elia, committed to hosting an empowerment camp with SPARK, a local mentoring program. The camp is a day-long program that teaches girls from the third, fourth and fifth grades about self-respect, healthy relationships and the importance of education.

This is the critical time when girls’ self-esteem begins to drop, according to O’Neal.

“I think we can all attest to that time period when our self-esteem did decline, I call it my ugly duckling stage,” she said. “I was blessed enough to have people who helped me during that time period and there are girls here in Miami-Dade county who don’t have that.”

O’Neal plans to host the event this year and hopes it can develop into a monthly program for girls in Miami-Dade County.

“For us to go into the community, understand their struggle, and then for them to actually see different races, different people of religion, different creeds who they can actually relate to, I think that is awesome,” she said.

Clinton said O’Neal’s project is relevant considering new research that shows both male and female teachers start calling less and less on girls in science and math classes around fourth grade. Clinton said this “sends a not really subtle signal that their answers are less valuable.”

“All that really coalesces in a really detrimental way for girls’ self-esteem and I believe we’re all the poorer for it because we lose half of our potential,” she added.

O’Neal works with the Butler Center for Student Leadership and Service and aspires to work in communications for nonprofits when she graduates in May with majors in public relations and human and social development.

The second student was sophomore Nika Hosseini, an ecosystem science and policy major. Along with her partner Elizabeth Tran, Hosseini is committed to improving the water quality in Kiburara, Uganda.

Hosseini plans to partner with AquaSolve Ventures and IDEAS for Us, two organizations focused on social change via access to basic necessities, to install a water purification system.

“I kept thinking of ideas of how I can be impactful in this field, and I want to be one of the many people who are working to help solve these issues, especially water-related issues,” she said.

Hosseini is a member of the Environmental Conservation Organization, a branch of Student Government. She has a passion for helping the world that comes her background as a child of Iranian immigrants, and the advice her mother gave her and her sister every morning on the way to school.

“She’d say ‘wow look at our life, how blessed are we?’ and then she would turn to us and say ‘never take anything for granted and always give back more than you receive because that is the life that we live and that is how you become a true citizen of the world and a good person,'” Hosseini said.

Hosseini has a goal to raise $30,000 to purchase and install the system, which will take two years to fully implement, with one of those years dedicated solely to fundraising.

“Andrea and Nika are good sort of snapshot of the types of commitments that people make, sometimes very much rooted in their local communities, either where their college or university is based or their hometown or where they have a skills set,” Clinton said. “People who have a unique skills set that is best matched to solve a challenge literally half way around the world.”

 

Featured photo courtesy still4hill.com.

March 7, 2015

Reporters

Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was maybe coincidence, but positioned just behind his left shoulder as Tyrique Stevenson spoke ab ...

The Miami Hurricanes unveiled a new turnover chain this season, replacing the bedazzled “U” that han ...

Before now, the last time the Miami Hurricanes scored 21 or fewer points in four consecutive games w ...

Keontra Smith waited a long time for the Miami Hurricnaes to finally offer him. The defensive back g ...

University of Miami true freshman running back Cam’ron Davis, known as Cam for short, is about to lo ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

UM Professor of Law Frances R. Hill tells us what we should know. ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

The Canes hit the road for the final time in the 2018 regular season and it is to a familiar and hos ...

The Canes top the Golden Eagles to move onto the WNIT Championship game. ...

Miami wraps up its season-opening homestand with a 2 p.m. Saturday matchup against Bethune-Cookman a ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced Thursday the signing of three golfers to N ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.