February 22, 2018  

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Southern Miss Students to Attend Clinton Global Initiative University

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Southern Miss seniors Ashley Betts, left, and Jazmyne Buter will be attending the Clinton Global Initiative University next month. (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)

University of Southern Mississippi seniors Jazmyne Butler and Ashley Betts have been invited to join a prestigious group of collegiate standouts as part of the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Each year, CGIU hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. This spring’s event will be held at Washington University in St. Louis from April 5 - 7, bringing together nearly 1,200 attendees to make a difference in CGIU's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Butler and Betts were selected after submitting a Commitment to Action proposal to the CGIU organizers. Their project is titled “Inspired to Dream Foundation: Empowering Young Women of a New Generation. Directed at girls between the ages of 10-18, the plan aims to empower young minority women in Mississippi’s impoverished communities by having them think critically about themselves, their identity and their goals, while breaking down negative stereotypes.

“Attending CGIU will help us further develop our idea and work with others with the same, or similar, goals to help communities all over the world,” said Butler, who serves as Student Government Association president at Southern Miss. “We look forward to building this organization and see this into fruition over time.”

A Vicksburg, Miss., native majoring in Journalism, Butler is an Honors Scholar and McNair Scholar. She has served also as chapter president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and an official hostess for Southern Miss.

Betts is a Meridian, Miss., native a former Miss Southern Miss (2011). She is majoring in finance and banking. She also served as chapter president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is currently interning with EMILY’s List – The Institute for Women’s Policy and Research and Girls Incorporated.

“We want to empower young girls to dream and know that dreams actually become reality,” said Betts. “Our vision is to expose them to all that they can be and to remove all limitations or barriers to success.”

Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, former President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.

To learn more about the Clinton Global Initiative University, visit: http://www.cgiu.org/