October 23, 2017
Read time : 4 min

The Clinton Global Initiative University is the student version of the successful Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges. Each year, CGI U hosts a similar meeting for students, faculty and admin, topic experts, and celebrities to discuss global issues around five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. This year, the 10th CGI U meeting took place October 13-15 at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and featured a former Up to Us winner as a speaker!

As a junior in college, Angelo Bechara won the Up to Us campus competition in 2014. Angelo led his team to victory in a successful campaign by organizing strategic partnerships and planning compelling events. He is currently pursuing a career in the Foreign Service and a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern studies at The George Washington University. At CGI U, Angelo spoke in a session called Designing a Meaningful Project alongside Founders and CEOs about his experience with Up to Us. 

From left to right: Luis Perez-Breva, Faculty Director MIT Innovation Teams, MIT (moderator), Vanessa Kirsch, Founder and CEO, New Profit , Angelo Bechara, Year 3 Winner, Up to Us, Tiffany Pham, Founder and CEO, Mogul, Susan Windham-Bannister, President and CEO, Biomedical Growth Strategies 

In addition to Angelo’s speaking role, additional Up to Us alumni, Sruveera Sathi (Team leader of winning team in 2016) and Rebecca Leibman (Top 10 team leader from 2014) served as advisors during CGI U’s Office Hours. In an interview with The Hoya, Sruveera describes their role, stating that Office Hours “allowed participants to learn more about what we did and our career paths and our journey, and gave us an opportunity to share our advice, and honestly be inspired by the people who attended.”

The weekend was an inspiring exercise in empowering the next generation of leaders, embodying the same values that Up to Us emphasizes. In the closing plenary, a conversation with President Clinton, Joe Kennedy III, Democratic representative of the 4th District of MA, said: "Some of the proudest moments of our history are when we do answer that call [to lead and to serve], and some of the most shameful are when we don’t and we put that burden back on our children to do so." 

Up to Us empowers young people to take the fiscal future of the country into their own hands in order to create a more sustainable fiscal future for their own children. The Up to Us community is proud of our alumni like Angelo, Sruveera, and Rebecca who are examples of this throughout the competition and beyond. To get involved, participate in the winter cohort of the campus competition or host an event on your campus through our Year of Action offerings.