Clinton Global Initiative University 2010 Inspires College Students

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 3, 2010) – Former President Bill Clinton announced last month that more than 290,000 people worldwide would be impacted positively by the commitments of college students nationwide at the third-annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). Among those chosen to attend the meeting at the University of Miami were Miami Dade College students who pulled an “all-nighter” with the international relief agency Food For The Poor to raise funds to construct a self-sustaining tilapia project in Haiti.

“Today’s generation of young people holds more power than any generation before it to make a positive impact on the world,” said President Clinton in a statement. President Clinton launched CGIU in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.

College students at more than 35 campuses nationwide participated in Food For The Poor’s All-Nighter for the Poor to commemorate World Food Day on Oct. 16. Students at Miami Dade College broadened their campus goal into a formal commitment for the Clinton Global Initiative University. Their goal is to end hunger and improve living conditions in communities throughout Haiti.

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“Clinton Global Initiative University provided our students with an invaluable experience that I think they will savor forever,” said Stuart Williams, a professor at Miami Dade College. “Clinton Global Initiative University dared them to be leaders today, for a better tomorrow.”

“They were able to listen and participate in discussions with pioneers across various fields, all of whom seemed deeply passionate about transforming the world for the better,” said Williams. “Moreover, they were exposed to a network of like-minded students, gathering in one place and converging energies, to both critically reflect on the challenges that threaten our collective existence and strategize new avenues to repair our globe, indeed, our humanity.” 

“Haiti’s debilitating famine and earthquake compels me to take social responsibility to help alleviate poverty and transform lives,” said Stephanie Del Pino, a student at Miami Dade College and Vice President of Students Against Infectious Diseases (S.A.I.D). “Haiti is 681 miles away from my hometown in Miami. It is hard to understand why women here [in the United States] have the luxury to complain about their weight while less than an ocean away, starving children swallow clay cookies.”

The initiative to fight hunger and poverty spurred nearly 600 Miami Dade College students to register online and participate in the Food For The Poor “All-Nighter for the Poor” event. Del Pino was a sophomore at Miami Dade College when she helped organize the inaugural campus event and set the ambitious goal to build several tilapia ponds in Haiti.
 
“Tilapia farms provide self-sustainable solutions for poverty-stricken areas throughout the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s Executive Director.  Residents there, both young and old, chronically fight against malnutrition. The initiative these young people have taken is remarkable. Their dedication to the people of Haiti has not wavered.”

During the fall, Nations United, a campus organization at Miami Dade College Homestead Campus, named Food For The Poor the club’s charity of choice. In conjunction with Food For The Poor’s All-Nighter for the Poor, the club sponsored a 24-hour hunger challenge on campus to show solidarity with the destitute worldwide. Club advisor Kevin Moore said approximately 53 participants joined the on-campus challenge. Additionally, the group has donated money to Food For The Poor’s animal husbandry projects and Haiti earthquake relief.

To involve your school in Food For The Poor’s mission, travel to a developing country, or to participate in the annual All-Nighter for the Poor, please call 1-877-654-2960, ext. 6988 or e-mail churchschool@foodforthepoor.org.

In addition to Students Against Infectious Diseases and Nations United, other student organizations and groups that support the on-campus, all-nighter on each of Miami Dade College’s eight campuses include: Baptist Student Organization, Civic Engagement Club, College Students for Social Awareness, Diverse Student Organization, Extasy, Film Society, Hialeah Performing Arts Club, Honors College, Hospitality Student Association, IBO, Interior Design Club, Phi Theta Kappa, PSA, Student Government Association, Students in Free Enterprise, Students Working for Equal Rights, Tropical Beat, Urban Paradise Guild, and Waves.

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, CGIU hosts a meeting for students, national youth organizations, and university officials to discuss solutions to pressing global issues. The third-annual CGIU Meeting will be held at the University of Miami from April 16-18, 2010.

About Food For The Poor:
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Contact:
Jennifer Leigh OatesPublic Relations954.427.2222, ext. 6054jennifero@foodforthepoor.org