The deadline to submit your Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) application is coming fast.
In the CGI U Network Workshop Thursday, April 5, a small group of roughly fifteen students, staff, and CGI U representatives met to discuss the application process.
The meeting was headed by Dr. Norma Bowe, creator of Be The Change NJ, a Kean service group dedicated to community service and activism projects that help promote peace and non-violence in urban neighborhoods.
Be The Change NJ has successfully qualified and represented Kean University at the annual CGI U meeting with President Clinton in each of the past three years. The aforementioned event, created in 2007, is dedicated to bringing together students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities in an attempt discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.
Typically, CGI U receives around 10,000 applications a year, usually accepting roughly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate participants. Prospective applicants are expected to present projects falling under the specified focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
Dr. Norma Bowe offered some advice to those interested in the prestigious program.
"The application is long. It contains word limits, and it must be in third person," she stated.
"We recommend that you download the application as a Word Document. This is because the application doesn't save on the website."
She also touched upon the need to "gas yourself up".
"You need to brag. Most people applying are very humble, but you need to brag about yourself." She said with a bright smile. "[List] your accomplishments, your projects, anything else interesting or worthwhile. This is essential."
Finally, she gave a fair heads-up to those active on social media.
"Make sure you provide them with all of your social media handles. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook — the lot."
If accepted to CGI U, students will attend the annual CGI U Meeting, hosted by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. The 11th annual holding of this event will take place Oct. 19-21, 2018 at the University of Chicago. There, they will be assigned their own unique Commitment to Action, a new, specific, and measurable initiative that addresses pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world.
Since 2008, more than 10,000 students from all over the world have Commitments to Action, and more than $3 million in funding has been awarded to said students through CGI U.
Bowe concluded the meeting with some hopeful encouragement.
"If you do not get in the first try, do not give up. The event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I'd suggest you try every opportunity you get to put yourself in a position to attend."
Applications are due April 23. The application can be found here at the Clinton Foundation website.