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MDC Student’s Environmental Work Earns Coveted Slot During Clinton Global Initiative University Program April 17

Other globally responsible students from MDC invited to participate in prestigious program
CGI U - Pres. Clinton

Miami, April 16, 2010 - A Miami Dade College (MDC) student’s commitment to improve the environment and address the global warming crisis has earned her a coveted spot during the Clinton Global Initiative University’s (CGI U) Meeting being held this week in Miami.

Ximena Prugue, an industrial engineering major from Kendall, will have her project showcased and will receive an award for  Giving the Green Light, on Saturday, April 17, 2010 during the only working session at the CGI U event.

Also on Saturday, MDC President, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, will join leaders from around the globe to offer insight during the panel discussion: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Citizens at 4 p.m. in Glasgow Hall.    

Selected from a large pool of applicants, Prugue’s Giving the Green Light project is to replace harmful kerosene lamps used by villagers in India and replace them with affordable sustainable solar-power lights, produced by BoGo Light, a Houston-based solar light company.

Since December 2009, Prugue has worked diligently to develop the project. In three short months, she’s reached out to BoGo executives, created a website devoted to the cause, and is making plans to launch as a nonprofit organization by the summer. 

“This [project] wasn’t a one time thing just for the CGI U meeting,” said Prugue. “It’s very grassroots right now, but a lot of work has gone into this project so far. I plan to continue working on it until the goal of $100,000 dollars is reached.” 

According to the United Nations Development Program, 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to electricity or suffer from energy poverty. Energy poverty can be defined as the inability to cook with modern cooking fuels and the lack of a bare minimum of electric lighting to read or for other household productive activities at sunset.

For the residents of rural Jamsaut, Bihar – which happens to be the poorest village in India and where Prugue hopes to distribute 10,000 lamps by June 2011 – replacing their kerosene lamps with new solar-powered lamps will not only provide available and safe light after sunset, but create higher productivity at night and, eventually, increase their income. 

Outdated and dangerous, kerosene lamps are highly combustible and emit a poor quality yellow light that strains eyes. The fumes released by kerosene lamps are directly linked to lung cancer, eye damage, premature deaths, and account for more than 1.8 million deaths a year due to lower respiratory infections, which is double the amount of malaria related deaths. 

Nearly 50 MDC students submitted proposals to the CGI U, but only 30 were selected to attend the three-day meeting being held at the University of Miami this week.

Among those chosen and who will be attending are Kendall and Wolfson Campus student leaders Stephanie Del Pino, Alexandra Rodriguez, and Amanda Balazero, whose Harvesting Hope Tilapia Food Project sparked community interest last fall with its “All-Nighter for Haiti” event.

The overnight social event helped raise $23,000 to develop a tilapia farm that would provide a source of sustainable income for residents in the Artibonite region in Haiti. 

About the Clinton Global Initiative University

Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting for students, national youth organizations, and university officials to discuss solutions to pressing global issues. The third annual CGI U Meeting will be held at the University of Miami from April 16-18, 2010.

For more information about Ximena Prugue’s project, visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

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