I loathe when people (generally older people) say, “The young people will save us.” It’s an abrogation of responsibility, and fails to recognize that we all have a role to play in making our world healthier, more just, more equitable, and candidly, still here for generations to come. Yet, it thankfully is true that many young people today are leading to build a better world and inspiring people of all generations to work together to make and protect progress. They turn anger and anguish into activism. Passion into progress, for everyone. And these are the students in the CGI University community.
CGI University is happening this week at Vanderbilt University, bringing together student leaders from across the country and around the world as they turn their ideas into action to drive real change on their campuses and in their communities. Through their work and examples, they are demanding more of each other, of my generation, and of all of us.
This includes leaders and social entrepreneurs like CGI University alum Christine Schindler, who founded a nonprofit to increase gender representation in STEM fields; Suhani Jalota, who created an organization to support women in Mumbai raising their voices and breaking down taboos around menstruation; Donnel Baird, who is, in his words, is “turning buildings into Teslas” through retrofit efforts to expand clean energy in all of America’s inner cities; Jovia Kisaakye, who is building a mosquito-repellent skincare line to fight malaria; and Sixto Cancel, who created a digital platform that supports and empowers foster youth through advocacy and educational services.
Each of these leaders identified a problem they wanted to solve and developed a plan for action of how to do so. They sought community through CGI University to help them refine their strategies, develop their skills, troubleshoot obstacles to progress, and build partnerships to maximize impact, and the likelihood that their plans would succeed. They inspire me, and I hope they’ll inspire you. Please follow along throughout the CGI University weekend and beyond, through our social channels, through those stories being told by Her Campus correspondents, and by the students themselves. We’re not short on activism, passion and inspiring examples — and we all need more of those.
See more of Her Campus’ coverage from the 2023 CGI University meeting here.