Awet Woldegebriel ’14 was selected to present at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), founded by President Clinton to bring together students, youth organizations, topic experts, and celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Awet, an international studies major, was invited to attend CGIU again in 2013 to discuss his nonprofit Knowledge Aid—this time accompanied by three more Oglethorpe students: Mon Baroi ’15, Jacob Tadych ’14, and Carolina Duque ’13, each selected to attend based on their own impressive resumes and projects.
Mon, a politics major and nonprofit management minor, and Jacob, a business major, founded Oglethorpe’s Tiny Homes Project in September 2011, with the help of other Oglethorpe community members. “The mission of Oglethorpe’s Tiny Homes Project is to build a $400 home that is sustainable and environmentally-conscious on the campus of Oglethorpe in 2013,” explained Mon. “After we build the prototype, our first home, our plan is to raise $5,000 so that we can build five homes that are endorsed by the city of Atlanta for homeless or low-income individuals.”
The team shared their plans and research online, so that it may be improved upon and replicated around the world.
“I’m excited (to attend CGIU),” Jacob said. “I’m hoping we can get networks, get more people involved… plus we get to hear all the ideas from other people.”
One of those ideas is Carolina’s nonprofit, Mas Luz, which provides services and aid to help women in Colombia who have been physically and mentally abused. “I wasn’t expecting (CGIU) to choose me. I am stunned,” said Carolina, who is from Colombia and is studying business at Oglethorpe.
As Awet experienced last year, CGIU gives students the chance to grow their ideas and to make them a reality.
“The thing about (Tiny Homes) is that a lot of people think that it’s just about a house,” said Mon, “and the thing is, it’s not just about a house, it’s about a state of mind and a lifestyle. We’re advocates of a certain type of lifestyle, a lifestyle of lifelong learning.”