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5 UC Berkeley Students Win Clinton Global Initiative Award

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Clinton Global Initiative University Announces Doug DeRoy, Kevin Hur, Jonathan Lee, Richard Novak, and Anurag Sridharan of the University of California-Berkeley as 2009 Winners of CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards.

“CGI U offers college students a space to create positive change in local communities or on a global scale,” said Robert Harrison, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).  “Funding provided by the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation for the Outstanding Commitment Awards will ensure that these exceptional commitments are able to achieve the impact these extraordinary students have envisioned.”  

Through grants from the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation, winners will receive funding to advance their CGI U Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans launched through CGI U to address a global challenge of the winning commitment maker’s choosing.  The CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards are designed to support unique, meaningful work that creates lasting and positive social change, most notably within CGI U’s focus areas – energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation.  The awards recognize students and student organizations from a wide variety of graduate schools, historically black colleges, Ivy League institutions, religious and tribal universities, and state schools. 

Here's what they plan to do:

Doug DeRoy plans to design and implement low-cost, practical, and self-sustaining student vegetable garden programs in a pilot test of 10 selected California public schools, with an emphasis on underserved areas.

DeRoy will create programs that foster a fun, experiential learning environment to engage students in the entire process of growing their own food. He will design three general program models: one for elementary (K-5), one for middle (6-8), and another for high school (9-12) applications. Then, he will solicit his program models to public schools throughout California, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Out of those solicited, he will select a pilot group of ten schools – based on faculty interest, need, logistical feasibility, and other factors – to participate in his project. 

Unlike most student garden programs, DeRoy’s focuses on under-served areas, instead of wealthier communities. His goal is to demonstrate that with small funds, a team can implement a practical, hands-on, and self-sustainable student garden.   

Kevin Hur commits to combating Hepatitis B, a major health issue, within San Francisco’s Asian Pacific Islander community. 

Hepatitis B significantly affects Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) more than any other population and yet little progress has been made to screen and vaccinate APIs in counties that have a high percentage of APIs, such as Alameda County, California. 

Hur will employ a three-part strategy that includes targeted outreach education about Hepatitis B to the API population; screenings and vaccinations provided by health professionals and free clinics; and establishment of stronger ties between the API community and existing health services within the county.  

Jonathan Lee accepts the award on behalf of Global Medical Brigades-Berkeley.  Led by University of California Berkeley undergraduates, Global Medical Brigades-Berkeley commits to developing a comprehensive community health worker training program in the region of Honduras.  

In settings deprived of healthcare infrastructure, community health workers extend access to basic health services by diagnosing, treating and referring patients, as well as delivering medical interventions. Jonathan Lee and team aim to create a sustainable model for healthcare through the empowerment of individuals as community health workers (CHWs). By serving as CHWs, community members directly contribute to the establishment of a primary healthcare foundation and become active participants in managing their health. Partnerships will be developed between CHWs and distant health centers, and a community-wide health promotion program will be offered to educate individuals on hygiene, sanitation and household water treatment. In order to implement the recommended strategies, hygiene resources and materials will be distributed to community members.  

Over the period of one year, health programs will be conducted in 50 rural communities, resulting in over 35,000 individuals gaining the capacity to better manage their health. By investment in the human capital of CHWs, this commitment ensures continual access to medical services and transfers responsibility from NGOs to the communities themselves. 

 Richard Novak accepts the award on behalf of Future Scientist.  Future Scientist, a student group from the University of California-Berkeley, plans to develop a solar energy electrical system for an orphanage in Puerto Alegria, Peru. 

Their goal is to provide the initial resources to an impoverished community that will enable them to become a focus of technical expertise that nearby communities can utilize. 

This project will provide the area with clean, off-grid power, unlike the gas generator currently in use.  Students will learn to maintain and develop solar panel systems at a level that will permit self-reliance. This team also plans to train the community so that they could start a solar business, if they so desire. 

Anurag Sridharan accepts the  behalf of Berkeley Green Home.   Berkeley Green Home is a University of California-Berkeley student-initiated and student-run project that is developed to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on existing housing lots for the UC Berkeley community.  

Accessory dwelling units, also known as backyard homes, have long been built and used by homeowners throughout the United States and are well-represented in the Berkeley community. This team proposes to take this existing platform and make it highly energy efficient and a healthy living environment through a sustainable construction process that involves off-site pre-construction of building panels and subassemblies with rapid onsite final assembly.   

Once construction is complete, ongoing testing and monitoring will be conducted to record the impacts of the incorporated technologies. They will coordinate with on-campus courses to present findings to interested students and community members, record potential improvements and offer a real life setting for future generations of students to advance this environmental initiative even further. 

About Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)  

CGI U, a project of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), challenges college students and universities to address global problems with practical, innovative solutions. At CGI U, young people and universities do more than simply discuss the world’s challenges – they take real, concrete steps towards solving them. To date, 1,700 commitments have been made by students, universities, and youth organizations.

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