One student's perspective...

A professor once told me to find a project that makes me want to get out of bed every morning. Well I found it. I’ve begun working on a commitment to action for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). With this project I have been able to take everything I have learned inside the classroom to a new practical level. I have also had the privilege of learning valuable lessons that I didn’t have the chance to learn in classes. The satisfaction you get from being accepted to be a member of CGIU is indescribable. To know that someone or some group believes that your idea is good and that you are the right person to carry it out is amazing. It is a confidence boost to know that an international organization believes in you and your group.

I obviously cannot do this alone, and have begun assembling motivated students, faculty and administrators from around campus to help. The first step was to create an advisory council of professors from multiple disciplines around campus. I have talked with other students and faculty from around campus to get their support as well. It is very exciting to know BHSU supports this project and other student initiated projects.

I have done research before, and I know the importance of research. However, I like the practical implementation of research. How can I take what I know to another level? How can my theories be put into practice? How can I change the world and actually use what I’ve learned in the classroom experience? And most importantly, how can I work with a team of motivated people like myself to make the world a better place? I found a lot of these answers at the CGIU conference. More than 1,100 students from around the world met in Washington D.C. to get advice and motivation from other students, professionals and celebrities. It is inspiring to see this many motivated people in the same room, and know that I am not alone in my ambitious goals. I have stayed in contact with some of these people and they continue to inspire and guide me.

My experience in mass communication was an interesting element for me to bring to the table. I never felt inadequate because I was from a small state school in South Dakota. I felt like a valued member of CGIU with an interesting perspective. Once I got past the idea that I was somehow inferior to an Ivy League student, I was able to get motivated and help motivate others. Now I am able to work on a project that is continuously gaining momentum. This project will hopefully give me more life changing opportunities and the chance to meet more amazing people from all corners of the world.

Now is the perfect time to work on projects like this. I may not know where it will lead me, but I do know this experience will teach me incredible lessons that I will use forever. There is no better place than college to try something new and look failure in the eyes. Maybe this wont work — hopefully it will. No matter what, the experience will be a success and one I want to remember forever.