10. The End of a Beautiful Journey… Or the Beginning of Another?

This weekend, I had the pleasure and honor of representing She’s the First*{Michigan} at the Clinton Global Initiative University. I, along with another member of our chapter, got to travel to St. Louis to meet up with two other campus representatives (from UNC Asheville and Nova Southeastern University) and the national Director of International Operations for She’s the First, Christen Brandt.

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She’s the First CGIU Student Representatives

ImageThe weekend started with a little sight-seeing, of course, and then we made our way to the opening plenary session which was held in the fieldhouse of Washington University. President Clinton addressed 1,000 students in the room (representing all 50 states and hundreds of different countries) by claiming that the goal of the weekend was to channel the energy and innovation that college students can bring to the table when dealing with large-scale global issues in the areas of education, health, sanitation, transportation, sex-trafficking, etc.

ImageImageHis main point, in my own words, was that he believes in the power of youth, and especially college students, in changing the world through innovation and creativity.

You all often have the ideas, but few resources. I’m here to share what I’ve been blessed with on the international stage to convince you to follow your dreams and change the world. And to give you the funding and attention you deserve to have an impact.

All weekend, I attended sessions based on how to spread a message through social media (relevant to our course!), how education and digital technology interact in the new media environment, and why women are often overlooked as a promising solution to some of our largest world problems.

ImageI met hundreds of inspirational and truly bright students who care about more than their own future or college experience. Every student who attended was dedicated to making the world a better place to live, whether that be through opening schools in developing nations, coming up with solutions to lack of clean drinking water, or calling attention to the importance of sustainable living and transportation for the health of everyone on this planet.

ImageI left feeling moved and inspired. You wouldn’t believe how many college students have founded their own non-profits, social ventures, and public enterprises — most of them not even college seniors! I was so lucky to have this opportunity to spread the message of She’s the First to every corner of the country as well as across oceans. Our team was even lucky enough to snag a few seconds with a prominent conference leader and champion of girls’ and womens’ rights around the world — Chelsea Clinton!

ImageImageIt’s hard to believe that this might be one of my last experiences with She’s the First as a college student… although I’m sure I won’t stray too far as a chapter alumna 🙂

Have any questions or an interest in attending the conference next year? Connect with me in the “Comments” section!

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3 thoughts on “10. The End of a Beautiful Journey… Or the Beginning of Another?

  1. Sounds like such an exciting experience! I’m also curious about the presence of New Media and a conference like that – either during the event, or after to keep in contact with people you were able to network with.

  2. I truly admire the work you do with She’s The First. You are so passionate about this nonprofit and it does such great things for the world. The fact that you were able to go to the Clinton Global Initiative University is amazing and I’m sure it was such a great experience. How you describe his main point is so true, youth and college students really do have the ability to make such an impact on the world. Seeing that our generation is so in tune with social media, web, and technology makes it just that much more possible for us to really make an impact by utilizing those tools to get our messages out to as many people as possible. I loved this blog post and it made me want to experience the same opportunity you had at this conference!

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