Published on: May 08, 2014Lone Star College-North Harris student Tara Alcera, recently attended the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative University Conference (CGI U) at Arizona State University, where she represented a health education project that she and her high school classmates created in the southern Philippines.
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, creative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,000 Commitments to Action.
Alcera represented The Berchmans Initiative. Named after the Jesuit St. John Berchmans, who preached philanthropy and good deeds, the initiative started when Alcera and her high school classmates saw a need to bring health education and medical attention to impoverished areas of southern Philippines.
“Our project, The Berchmans Initiative, is important to me because through it, in my own little way, I am able to be of service to others, said Alcera. “I am able to impart what I know, and what I have, to others who, sadly, might never even have such things. When you help someone, you get this great sense of accomplishment. I've never felt anything like it. It's a wonderful feeling.”
Alcera and her classmates founded the group in 2012, recruited volunteers and sought partnerships with medical professionals and health agencies in the Philippines. Their almost-quarterly projects have included health seminars, hygiene packet distributions, medical treatment and disbursement of nutritious food for more than 200 women and children in the towns of Lunzuran, San Jose Gusu and Mercedes of Zamboanga City.
“This project was something my high school classmates and I came up with, said Alcera. “Basically, we all grew up in the Philippines and have seen first-hand the desperate situation of impoverished areas in our city. The lack of access to opportunities for impoverished areas was our main motivation to pursue this project as we had better opportunities to succeed. We wanted to use our education as a means of giving back to our local community in the Philippines and eventually make an impact in the world.”
Alcera one day hopes to be able to establish a sustainable initiative to provide impoverished communities with access to health, education and other opportunities.
With her goals set high, Alcera is looking forward to finishing her college education, and if given the opportunity, would like to pursue graduate school and earn a master’s or doctorate degree.
Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
About CGI U
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, and the George Washington University, and have convened more than 4,500 students from nearly 750 schools, more than 130 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit cgiu.org.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders year-round and at its Annual Meeting to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion.