The Clinton Global Initiative University (or CGI U) is an annual summit where its founder, President Clinton, hopes to inspire the youngest generation of Americans to lead a life of service. Our own Christine Schindler of the Duke Chapter of EWH was in attendance this year and made an interesting Commitment to Action. Her goal is to "pair Duke engineering students with girls age 14 – 17 to complete Engineering World Health Kits to inspire these girls about opportunities in engineering while also making a difference in the world."
Her commitment was first recognized when it was mentioned by President Clinton in this video (scroll forward to 6:20). We certainly agree that it is one of those ideas capable of both dramatic expansion and adoption! This is why throughout 2012-2013 we'll be working in partnership with Christine Schindler and all 40 Engineering World Health chapters to implement this idea on a large scale.
This project, titled Girls Engineering Change, has been gaining momentum and support rapidly; according to President Clinton, ‘(…) if Schindler’s engineering mentorship program is a success, he’d like to help raise funds at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting to scale her project, a move that could go a long way to getting more women to consider careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields’.
The percentage of female engineers across our country is just 14%, and the percentage of girls in college currently pursuing engineering degrees is a low 15%. Through GEC, participating girls are able to interact with passionate engineers which are only a few years older than they are and be inspired to pursue an impactful STEM career.
Additionally, Christine, along with Chelsea Clinton and other CGI attendees, was recently interviewed on Sirius XM Radio. If you would like to hear more people sharing their perspectives on this topic, you can download the interview here (Christine starts at 20:48).