Civic Engagement at CGIU

Hey, Nazareth community! Ever wonder what it’s like to attend an internationally recognized conference full of thousands of students committed to changing the world, along with prolific figures like the United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy or actress America Ferrera? You have a chance to do just that, thanks to our very own Center for Civic Engagement, particularly its associate director Adam Lewandowski. In 2014, Nazareth sent 11 students to the Clinton Global Initiative University in Arizona, and this past March, 8 more attended as well at the University of Miami. Here are some reasons why applying is an investment in your future, as well as the future of others:

1) You’ll be inspired by other students’ service-oriented projects.

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On Saturday night of the three-day excursion, we got the chance to peruse the university gym, chock full of student project presentations. Nazareth’s own Sylan Kim even got to network with interested pupils and potential benefactors for her social work-based commitment. We met students who have started Shakespeare summer camps for underprivileged kids, founded  cancer research companies, and are working with young girls in Greece on technological coding.

2) You could make it onto CNN.com. And, ya know, meet the former President of the United States. 

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During our Day of Action, we interacted with amazing children in the Floridian community of Liberty City, helping them paint murals, plant vegetables, decorate clotheslines, and spruce up their basketball court. Danielle Mensing and I were helping to enhance the garden, when President Clinton came over to connect with all of us as well. We had a great conversation about his childhood on a farm, and a photographer in tow happened to snap a picture! This particular photo was taken by an awesome mom of one of the kids, who was kind enough to text it to me!

3) You may get to see Former Secretary Hillary Clinton, along with CGIU co-founder Chelsea Clinton, launch new global projects that challenge people of all ages to help those less fortunate. 

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In conjunction with the Clinton Foundation, us attendees witnessed the commencement of No Ceilings and the #NotThere initiatives to bring attention to the gains women have made internationally, as well as the ways in which we can be even more progressive and champion the needs of women everywhere.

4) You might get to be on the radio and be Rochester famous for the day. 

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We were recently honored to be a part of Evan Dawson’s show entitled “Connections” on WXXI: we had the opportunity to discuss our projects on air and express the purpose of CGIU itself, which is to find innovative solutions to issues that affect not only our community, but those who are marginalized in certain contexts. How amazing is it that I received several emails from people who want to help with my particular commitment, simply because of our outreach?

The bottom line is that CGIU will teach you to stand up for the rights of those about whom you care, and you can learn about the solutions to contemporary problems as early as your freshman year. Questions about getting involved? Check out the Center for Civic Engagement website at https://www2.naz.edu/civic-engagement and empower yourself and others!

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