Five George Washington University students were selected as Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) COVID-19 Student Action Fund recipients for their innovative ideas to address various aspects of the pandemic.
Diana Aguilera, Elizabeth Diing Manyang, Konstantin Mitic, Omar Negron-Ocasio and Divya Rath were all awarded grants for their projects that approach COVID-19 from an international perspective.
CGI U, a higher education program under former President Bill Clinton’s foundation, began in 2007 and incorporates year-round programming and mentorship networks. It launched the COVID-19 Student Action Fund in April during the CGI U At Home virtual event, and the fund identified students from member institutions globally who demonstrated a commitment to addressing the pandemic.
The fund provides grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for the student-led projects, and the selected students also will be invited to participate in the CGI U 2021 program.
Amy Cohen, executive director of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, said that many of those who are selected to participate in CGI U become early leaders in their fields.
“It is impressive to see our students step forward to work in partnership with communities around the world to boldly to address issues that have been created or exacerbated by the pandemic,” Ms. Cohen said. “These immersive projects provide a deep education, culturally, civically and academically.”
The projects that were selected for this fund address the public health, economic and societal impact of the coronavirus pandemic, such as advocacy campaigns or emergency response initiatives. The GW student-led projects are:
- Ms. Aguilera, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Policy in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, is launching “Latino Immigrants and Telemedicine Approaches,” which aims to improve COVID-19 health care services and policies for migrant populations in Washington, D.C.
- Ms. Manyang, a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is launching “We are the Kakuma,” a program with a goal to provide Kakuma refugees with access to masks, soap and hand sanitizers in Kenya.
- Mr. Mitic, a graduate student pursing a Master of Science in biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is launching “COVID Mali,” which is an organization of engineers and other professionals based in the United States and Mali who plan to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to 5,000 Malian health workers by utilizing 3D printing capabilities.
- Mr. Negron-Ocasio, a graduate student pursing a Master in Public Policy in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, is launching “Remora,” which will work with communities in Corozal, Puerto Rico, to provide access to clean water to better fight the pandemic as well as provide community training on managing the water filtration systems and protecting its water sources.
- Ms. Rath, a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, is launching “Global Guru,” which will provide free online tutoring through video sessions to help bridge the gap between students and access to quality educational services during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, South Korea, India and Australia.