1 Year Later, These Students’ Projects Are Reaching Women around the World

March 26, 2014

In 2013, we funded 12 students at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) who made commitments to empower women and girls. Each young woman came out of the conference fired up to tackle the issues that they’re passionate about.

So, where are they now? We were thrilled to hear from three of these brilliant women recently.

1. Dyna Kuthyola

Dyna Kuthyola holds up a chalkboard sign reading, "Economic empowerment for women in Malawi."

Dyna Kuthyola holds up her commitment at the 2013 CGI U conference.

Not only was Dyna part of the 2013 cohort, she was also an AAUW International Fellow in 2012–13. She went back to her home in Malawi at the end of 2013, after finishing up an internship at the Clinton Foundation and receiving her master’s in international development from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. As she told us, “I am going back to Malawi to give back what you have given me. I am determined to pursue the commitment I made with CGI U.”

At the end of January she began working with the Clinton Foundation again, this time in Malawi. “Part of my job is to help develop and empower women living in the rural areas of Malawi. I’m excited about this role I have, and I will continue to work with women in Malawi to improve their livelihoods and give them a voice.”

 

2. Ola Ojewumi

Three women sit together at a conference table.

AAUW’s Kate Farrar (left) and Christi Corbett (right) sit next to Ola Ojewumi at the 2013 CGI U conference.

Ola was a Student Advisory Council member in 2011–12, where she helped advise AAUW about student programs and worked to improve equality for women on their campuses. She told us in 2012 about “surviving the impossible” and how a life-threatening medical operation led to the realization that she wanted to change the world.

Focusing on bringing higher education to low-income women, Ola’s commitment to CGI U was to expand the efforts and reach of her nonprofit, ASCEND. “Our initiatives include a college scholarship program for low-income women, a service-centered camp reaching over 100 at-risk girls in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and the collection of over 250 textbooks to donate to women’s education programs in Cameroon,” she says. “Project ASCEND has been praised by Intel, Glamour magazine, Essence magazine, MTV, the Huffington Post, and AAUW.”

In March 2014, Ola was highlighted in CGI U’s article “Five Black Student Leaders to Watch in 2014.”

 

3. Joy Agee

Two young women stand together at a conference table.

Joy Agee (right) and Kenya Wallace table for AAUW at CGI U in 2014.

A doctoral candidate in biotechnology, science, and engineering at the University of Alabama, Joy put forward a commitment to make STEM more accessible for African American girls. Joy was also featured in CGI U’s “Five Black Student Leaders to Watch in 2014 article. Mentorship played a huge role in Joy’s academic and professional path, so her goal is to provide STEM mentorship for young African American girls from middle schools near her university. As she said, “I feel like if I can introduce our young girls to women who look like them and who are working in these fields, they can hopefully see themselves having a career in STEM.”

Joy was a Student Advisory Council member in 2011–12. She is now an active member of the AAUW Huntsville (AL) Branch and the Student and Family Coordinator for the Huntsville’s Branch’s Tech Trek camp this summer. Along with her colleague Kenya Wallace, Joy attended CGI U 2014 in Phoenix this year.

 


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By:   |   March 26, 2014

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