Neither snow nor sleet nor canceled flight can prevent Towson University students from finishing first in Clinton Global Initiative competition
Students out-fundraise stiff competition despite being a team member short
Not even the weekend snow storm could keep Towson University from coming in first with their "Hope of Guinea" project in the Clinton Global Initiative University Challenge that took place at the University of Florida, March 6-8.
Oumou Diallo, a sophomore business administration, finance major and Jacqueline Bell, a sophomore molecular biology major raised $7,690 of a $10,000 goal they set for 2016. The pair was to be joined by Luis Alvarado, a senior currently specializing in the areas of international affairs and French literature, but his flight was cancelled due to the snow storm that swept through a large portion of the eastern U.S.
"We didn’t panic, we adjusted,” Diallo said. “We wanted him to be there with us, but each "Hope of Guinea" member represents the whole team. He worked with the rest of the organization throughout the conference to win the challenge for HOG. He is an integral part of HOG.”
In the CGI U Commitments Challenge, student teams square off to fund their social innovation, enterprise and sustainability commitments. “A Hope for Guinea” won, competing against 42 other commitments from different universities and colleges throughout the country, including Brown, Cornell and Duke universities. Students raised funds with the help of social media outlets like Crowd Rise and Facebook.
“A Hope of Guinea” is commitment to provide a safe community center for academic success and civic engagement in Ratoma, Guinea. The community center would provide residents with access to tutoring programs, resources to a community garden, physical education programs and opportunities for community service. The center will provide much-needed opportunities for growth and economic development for the region’s impoverished population that otherwise has little access to such resources.
The CGI U conference is a gathering of more than 1,000 student leaders convened by former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton who present “Commitments to Action:” new, specific and measurable initiatives that address global challenges across CGI U’s five focus areas of education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.
The 2015 conference encouraged students to take action on some of the Millennial generation’s biggest concerns: the future of energy, the power of big data to address global challenges, and peace-building in the Middle East and North Africa.
Diallo and Bell received recognition from former President Clinton. The Towson students attended plenary discussions with individuals such as “Ugly Betty” actress America Ferrera, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate founder Tawakkol Karman and United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. The panels were facilitated by the former president.
Contact: Gay Pinder, Director of Media Relations
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Founded in 1866, Towson University is among the nation’s best regional public universities, offering more than 100 bachelors’, masters and doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and applied professional fields. With close to 23,000 students, Towson University is among the largest public universities in Maryland. Towson combines research-based learning with practical application and its many interdisciplinary partnerships with public and private organizations throughout Maryland provide opportunities for research, internships and jobs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Towson University one of the nation’s best and most efficiently run universities. An NCAA Division I school in athletics, Towson University is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association as well as the Colonial Academic Alliance.