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School of Business Students Participate in Clinton Global Initiative

April 15, 2010
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A number of School of Business students had the opportunity to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI U) held on the University campus April 16 - 18. Two teams of business students were selected to receive $1,000 each in seed money for the community projects they proposed as part of the the CGI U.The two "Commitments to Action" were chosen from among 113 Commitments submitted by University of Miami students. The event brought together approximately 1,500 college students, university officials and representatives from youth organizations from all parts of the world, and focused on global challenges in education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. Students had the opportunity to hear from President Clinton during the conference and some had the opporunity to meet and talk with him.

Jake Weinfeld, a marketing major, and economics major Natania Widensky received a $1,000 grant for their Commitment to Action which focuses on alleviating poverty through experiential education.

The other proposal that won the award was submitted by students from the School's Hyperion Council, which in 2008 organized the successful Jamaica Project, through which students traveled to Jamaica to provide training to business women and to empower them to become more self-reliant and competitive.  In their Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, finance major Arthur Pearsall Jr., accounting and finance major Haley Donaldson, accounting  major Naveen Kirpalani, and marketing and entrepreneurship major Jordan Chadsey laid out a plan to expand on the Jamaica Project by extending its reach to other emerging economies.

Click to Watch Video

 VIDEO: Jake Weinfeld discusses his CGI U.
  project and his program experience.

Click to Watch Video

 VIDEO: Hayley Donaldson talks about her
  project and CGI U. experience.

“It was inspirational to someone like me who just has a plan on a piece of paper [to see] that this piece of paper can turn into a real thing,” said Weinfeld about his experience. “It was inspiring to see what people are doing and how far reaching and the impact that this organization and motivated people are having.”

“I think the most beneficial thing was talking to other students about our project,” said Donaldson. “They just brought up a lot of questions, issues, ideas that we didn’t think of and it was just a great way to get their feedback on our project.”

Among the other students who attended the conference werr finance and accounting major Colby Meyers, finance and marketing major Olga Terezi, and human and social development major Chelsea Rivera. Their proposal, titled "Children for Change," aims to eliminate social injustice in the community by educating youth about social issues that are not typically discussed at home, school, or by the media. The plan includes early childhood education beginning with an afterschool program.

Students interested in participating in the Clinton Global Initiative were invited to submit applications and develop a Commitment to Action in one of five areas and address a challenge on campus, in the community, or in another part of the world. The submissions were reviewed by the CGI U team and the best proposals were accepted. Thirteen proposals were chosen to receive grant money from the 113 submitted by University of Miami students.

The Office of the President, UM's Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership, and Florida Campus Compact, an organization of more than 50 college and university presidents, funded the grants.

The conference included plenary sessions, working sessions, and skill sessions, all of which allow student to interact with one another and formulate commitments and productive partnerships. 

A number of MBA students also participated in the event as table facilitators and volunteers.

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