University of Houston-Clear Lake graduate student Brittany King participated in the Clinton Global Initiative in Washington D.C. March 30 – April 1. She was selected to participate after submitting her Commitment to Action, a plan that addresses campus, community or world challenges.
King, who will receive her Master of Business Administration degree from UH-Clear Lake in fall 2012, joined students from every state in the U.S. and more than 80 other countries for the event held at George Washington University, where nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities and about 1,000 students gathered.
Her plan, called “Project Passionista,” outlines her vision to take young women from fashion-focused playing on the term “fashionista” to passionately focused on making a difference. She earned a full travel scholarship to the event.
“The Clinton Global Initiative was nothing short of a life-changing event for me – it has forever impacted my life,” says King.
Her goal is to empower women in leadership to be agents of social change by launching sustainable social enterprises.
While in Washington, she was also chosen to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University Exchange, which afforded her the opportunity to showcase her social change ideas to other attendees.
At the closing plenary session of the event, King was one of approximately six students chosen by co-host Jon Stewart to ask President Bill Clinton a question, which was then aired on C-SPAN.
“It was especially inspiring for me as President Clinton encouraged me as a single mom, and domestic abuse survivor, to continue to be the voice of those whose voices may be silenced by their own struggles,” says King.
Another highlight for King was participating in a service project where she and fellow students visited two inner-city homes to paint doors and windows and remove yard trash for elderly and single parent residents.
UH-Clear Lake Professor of Management Roger Durand championed King’s nonprofit efforts while she was a student in his graduate class, “The Global Environment of Business.”
“She was an exceptional student – talented, studious, thoughtful and intelligent, and she works easily with others,” says Durand. “On a personal level, she is highly motivated and I have complete confidence in her. It’s unusual to see someone so motivated toward nonprofit work.”
Now a motivational speaker, King recently founded the nonprofit organization Foundation for the Future (http://www.f4fhouston.org), which offers information and a network for young women seeking social entrepreneurship and personal success.
“I expected CGIU to be a rewarding and empowering event but I never expected to walk away from the conference with a new zeal for life and belief in our world,” says King.