Champlain Students to Attend the Clinton Global Initiative University

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Champlain students Mahmoud Jabari '15 and Kayla Hedman '14 will attend the sixth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri April 5-7. This is the first time Champlain College students will take part in the meeting of more than 1,000 college students from across the globe.

Jabari and Hedman both served as CGI U campus representatives throughout the fall and spring, encouraging their peers to develop Commitments to Action to address the most pressing challenges facing the campus or a specific community in areas such as education, environment and climate change, human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. The two decided to apply with their own Commitment to Action, and were selected to attend the meeting.

"It's an opportunity to network with a thousand students from around the world, as well as innovators, thought leaders, and other civically engaged celebrities," said Jabari. "I am excited to attend and acquire new skills, learn from professionals, and learn what other students are doing to change their communities and the world."

Jabari's trip is sponsored by the Champlain Student Government Association. Hedman's attendance is fully sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative University.

In the future, Jabari and Hedman hope their Commitment to Action will turn into a success story as well. "We used our student leadership as a tool to spread the word about Clinton Global Initiative University," said Hedman. "As campus representatives we presented to resident assistants, peer advisors in the LEAD program, as well as various active clubs on campus. We hope to grow the program next year and have more students attend the meeting to develop their own Commitments to Action."Kayla Hedman

"I found while registering for my skill sessions and workshops at CGI U, it integrates our interests and things we are learning at school," said Hedman. "I am excited to attend a session called 'Creating Buzz: Using Social Media to Market Your Cause' and hear from Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, because it relates to my major in Marketing. This meeting not only will help us develop our Commitment to Action and network, but is incorporating my interests too."

In early March President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton announced the program and featured participants. "This year, CGI U will bring together more than 1,000 college students representing all 50 states and six continents to explore concrete ways to build a better tomorrow," said President Clinton. "I look forward to working with the young leaders who come with their enthusiasm and their ideas."

"It's inspiring to witness the power of CGI U students, whose energy, ideas, optimism and determination continually expand the possibilities for public service," said Chelsea Clinton, who serves on the board of the Clinton Foundation. "By joining an extraordinary community of young people, thought leaders, and experienced entrepreneurs, students attending CGI U 2013 will have the opportunity to make real contributions and forge connections that last a lifetime."

Washington University in St. Louis was chosen to host this year's CGI U because it is recognized as an international leader in preparing young people to address the world's most pressing challenges.

This year's program will address issues throughout CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health through sessions including:

  • Getting off the Ground: Stories of Starting Up, in which a panel of budding and veteran entrepreneurs will share their stories, setbacks, and key lessons learned from their own experiences of launching a business or organization
  • A Better Future for Girls and Women: Empowering the Next Generation, which will bring together practitioners and pioneers to explore the tangible ways in which young people can continue to build a better future for girls and women around the world
  • Solutions without Borders: Working with Unlikely Allies, will convene notable entrepreneurs and policymakers who are proving the necessity of cooperation over conflict.

For the complete schedule, visit

Building on the Clinton Global Initiative's successful model of convening Fortune 500 CEOs, heads of state, the most effective NGOs, and civil society to address the world's most pressing challenges, President Clinton launched CGI U to engage the next generation of leaders from around the world. As with participants at all CGI meetings, CGI U students must make a Commitment to Action: a new, specific and measurable student initiative that addresses a pressing challenge on campus or beyond.

In the past five years, more than 4,500 young leaders have attended CGI U, including Harvard University student Jessica Matthews. Matthews has won awards from TED, Popular Mechanics, and was featured in a Best Buy ad for her 2009 commitment, SOCCKET, a soccer ball that doubles as an eco-friendly generator for people in resource-poor regions. With just 30 minutes of play, SOCCKET captures enough energy of motion to power at least three hours of light, run a variety of small appliances, or charge batteries. Support for CGI U is generously provided by AAUW, Boeing, Dell Inc., Laureate International Universities, Andy Nahas and The Prospect Fund, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. For more information on CGI U or the CGI University Network visit

For inquiries, please email or call 212.710.4492.

Follow CGI U on Twitter at @CGIU and @ClintonGlobal or on Facebook at for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag will be #CGIU.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 380 Colleges: 2016 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" for 2016 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Champlain was named the #1 “Most Innovative School” in the North by the U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges and #14 in the overall list of “Best Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit