Students submit applications for Clinton Global Initiative

Before she spends next year teaching in Tanzania, senior Marisa Ranieri wants her students to have access to books and school supplies.

She hopes the college students, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders set to come to Foggy Bottom for the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in March will help catapult her distribution plan to reality.

“There’s a difference between having a great idea and knowing how to implement it, and CGI U helps students with great ideas learn how to be successful in getting their initiative off of the ground,” Ranieri said.

Students worldwide are waiting to learn of their chances to attend CGI U after the extended application deadline passed Monday.

The three-day conference that starts March 30 will bring about 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students to D.C. to network and participate in workshops that will look to tackle global issues.

On Jan. 19, former President Bill Clinton announced that “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart would speak at the conference.

“There has already been significant interest among GW students about attending CGI U because of the overall program and we believe the Jon Stewart announcement provides that extra boost of excitement,” University spokeswoman Candace Smith said.

Conference organizers declined to release the number of applications they received in total from GW, Smith said.

In their applications, students were required to make a “commitment to action” – a promise to perform a measurable project that targets an issue in human rights, education, poverty, environment or public health.

Smith touted the school’s outreach to help students interested in the conference, pointing to information sessions on campus and online, mass e-mails, newsletters and assistance at the University Writing Center.

“I knew from the beginning that getting into CGI U would be a long shot. However, in three months, there’s a possibility I will be sitting in a GW classroom with President Clinton discussing how one person can make a difference in the world,” Ranieri said.

GW students may also volunteer to do logistical work at the event, with an application deadline of Feb. 10.

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