UCI News

UCI students attend Clinton Global Initiative University conference

UC Irvine students Elaine Truong, Deshani Senewiratne, Nithin Jilla and Michelle Le recently attended the annual Clinton Global Initiative University Conference, held April 5-7 in St. Louis.

April 11, 2013

UC Irvine students Elaine Truong, Deshani Senewiratne, Nithin Jilla (pictured, left to right, with University of Minnesota student Christina Lee) and Michelle Le (not pictured) recently attended the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University conference, held April 5-7 in St. Louis. The event draws students, youth organizations, topic experts and celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Nearly 1,200 people attended this year’s conference, which focused on five areas: education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights, and public health. Students were given the chance to meet hundreds of leaders from business, nonprofit and government agencies and attend plenary sessions hosted by former President Bill Clinton. Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite to attending the conference, students and youth organizations develop their own commitments to action–specific plans that address important issues on campus, in the community or around the world. “We met so many great people who are willing to partner with us and help bring our projects to fruition,” said Senewiratne, who is creating an online mentoring and English-language skills program between rural women and girls in her native Sri Lanka and UC Irvine students. “Sri Lankans struggle with poverty and the aftermath of 26 years of war,” she said. “Educating and empowering women and girls gives them an opportunity to advance and do great things for the country and their families.” Jilla’s project involves teaching mobile application development to middle school students to spark their interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Le and Truong are collaborating to bring together engineering and business students working on sustainability projects in developing countries.