June 2014, Volume 18, Number 2


Ready to Change the World

Sixteen Miami Dade College students working on 10 different projects were invited to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), to be held this year at Arizona State University in Tempe. The annual gathering brought together hard-working students from around the world who are devoted to civic engagement and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of everyone around them.

“The passion of these students to make a better world is inspirational,” said Joshua Young, director of the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at MDC who helped coach some of the students in preparing their project applications.

Creating Solutions

CGI was formed in 2005 by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to find solutions to global problems. CGI U in turn was launched in 2007 to inspire and support student leaders who want to make a difference in their communities and around the globe.

“Today’s generation of young people holds more power than any generation before it to make a positive impact on the world,” said Clinton.

International Perspectives

MDC is one of only 58 colleges chosen from across the globe to be part of the CGI U.

“I am so appreciative to President Clinton and Dr. Padrón for making this possible, because the impact these changemakers will have on the world will be enormous,” Young said. “It’s this type of desire and attitude that we aim for at MDC. What the world needs is for young people to see themselves as agents of change – this is going to be a transformational experience for these students.”

MDC students who have been selected to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University have projects as ambitious as they are diverse. Here are their winning ideas for improving the future.

- René Betancourt, Chris Cuesta and Giancarlo Aguilar’s Gardentops will bring green rooftop technology to urban buildings. Betancourt’s enthusiasm is typical among the students. “We are thoroughly excited to represent Miami Dade College in Arizona at CGI U, and see it as a prime opportunity to help create positive social change.”

- Crystal Coronel’s Cristy’s Place will create a community center to advocate for children and young adults of mixed-status families while also offering legal aid, counseling and tutoring for area children in need.

- Jarvis Davis’ Enlightening the Male Mind will bring together young men to address current public health and well-being issues.

- Alexandra Castillo Escobar, Angely Requena and Susana Guzmán’s Seeds of Change Initiative will team up with other student groups in the movement to end female genital mutilation.

- Soleri Miranda and Gene Christian’s organization Voice of Tomorrow will seek to combat child abuse and sexual abuse in the home by raising awareness in elementary school students.

- Lunicel Polanco’s Helping Hands Food & Resale Pantry will help provide food security to those in need in the local community, including struggling students at Miami Dade College.

- Nicole Reyes-Palma and Francia Alexandre’s Care for Costa will partner with a local homeless center in Costa Rica to provide homeless families with vocational training, job placement and family counseling.

- Aisha Shanan’s I AM I – Uniting Children With Disabilities will assist children and raise awareness through the creation of unique storybooks.

- Kristen Solorzano and Randy Díaz’s First Year Educational Success Conference will assist college students whose parents are undocumented.

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