This past weekend, I had the honor of attending the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference in Miami, Florida. The conference was filled with incredible speakers, panel discussions, and workshops, and brought together over 1,300 students, 100 University Presidents, and numerous National Youth Organizations to create and implement global action.
I first heard of the conference through Global Brigades, which was a partner with CGI U for the conference. I saw the conference as an opportunity to hear from experienced people in the field of global service. I also hoped to possibly promote GB and share our commitment project, which was to successfully establish all of the GB disciplines at NYU and to host a global health conference at our University this fall. Every applicant to the conference was required to have a commitment to action, an initiative that would attempt to either work towards or promote change. While I was excited for the conference, it far exceeded all of my expectations.
The speakers were incredible, the workshops were informative, and President Clinton was tremendously impressive. Global Brigades also made a great impact as several of the directors were table facilitators in the workshops and Global Brigades had a table in the wellness exchange. I was also able to tell many about my commitment as well as tell anyone interested in global health and sustainable development about Global Brigades. Additionally, I was able to share my personal experiences and goals in the field of global health with many people.
I hadn’t expected, however, how much I would be empowered by the trip and those I met. I am now filled with hope in the future. To meet so many people who were filled with so much devotion to their respective causes was truly incredible. It seemed as if every conversation I had was about passion for service and a vision for change. Passion was evident everywhere, from speaking with university presidents about how to empower students through their schools, to talking with fellow students about their respective commitments to action.
Even more, it was incredible to meet not only other Global Brigades members, but also to spend time with the upper level directors of GB. I was able to both hear and share thoughts about some of the future plans for our organization. GB also set up an after party for anyone at CGI U that was interested in GB, and it was great to meet a lot of eager students at this party.
While there is a great deal of need in the world, I now better understand the incredible initiatives that students are involved in all around the world. I am ready to take my commitment for Global Brigades into action, and do so with a renewed sense of passion and purpose.