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CGI U Sun Devils continue to shine, 2015 application now open

Bill Clinton shaking hands with ASU student Nicole Schminski
October 03, 2014

Applications for Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2015 are now open. The annual conference will be held at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, from March 6-8.

Last March, Arizona State University hosted CGI U 2014 with 200 undergraduate and graduate students representing ASU. Students who are interested in attending the 2015 conference must submit their Commitments to Action by Oct. 17 to be eligible for travel assistance. The CGIU 2015 final deadline is Dec. 1. Subscribe to the Changemaker Central Newsletter for updates about on-campus information sessions and funding opportunities.

Every year, CGI U gathers students from around the globe to engage with topic experts, renowned leaders and celebrities to focus on finding solutions to today’s most pressing issues. Often, these solutions pertain to challenges in education; environment and climate change; peace and human rights; poverty alleviation; and public health. This highly anticipated event includes plenary sessions and workshops that offer exciting opportunities for networking, skill building and collaboration. Over 1,000 students from over 300 colleges and 80 countries convened at ASU last spring for CGI U 2014.

Over the summer, three ASU teams that participated in CGI U 2014 received a special invitation to attend CGI America in Denver, Colorado. These ASU commitment makers joined professionals and leaders from around the world to address social and economic challenges. Sun Devils Nicole Schminski of PHX Pack Co., Alex Miller of Bibliotrucka and David Anaya of Philyra Paper Company were among the few CGI U students from across the U.S. who were selected to join an exclusive round table discussion with Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton and enjoy extended face time with former President Bill Clinton.

“These (professionals) should be asking you for your opinions,” Chelsea Clinton told the CGI U students during their round table discussion. “You are the folks who will take ideas and run with it.”

Nicole Schminski, a graduate student at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a Teach for America corps member, explained that her involvement in CGI America would not have been possible without the incredible opportunity she was afforded at CGI U 2014.

Schminski, alongside her teammates Meghan Buhler and Ahmad Naboulsi, created PHX Pack Co., a local backpack manufacturer with a mission to empower Phoenix youth through employment, education and professional development opportunities.

“With PHX Pack Co.,” said Schminski, “we were not always sure how to move forward with our project’s development, but we were never left hanging. The support and resources at ASU were fantastic.”

Schminski described both CGI U and CGI America as assemblies of passionate people who dedicate their lives to helping others. When describing her participation and involvement with CGI, Schminski said, “The chance to meet and learn from people who are like-minded and driven creates even more opportunities, and is incredibly amazing.”