CONWAY, Ark. (March 13, 2013) - Jeannette Inema, a senior computer science major from Kigali, Rwanda, was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University this spring at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, former U.S. 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. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. CGI U 2013 will bring together nearly 1,200 attendees to make a difference in CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
Inema's proposal focused on encouraging young women in Rwanda to pursue STEM careers. Inema is a Rwanda Presidential Scholar at Hendrix.
"My commitment aims to eliminate the large gender gap that exists in technology fields in Rwanda by introducing technology to young girls in their second level of secondary schools in a camp," Inema said. During that camp, (which I hope will become an annual program, the girls will learn some basic technology tools, basics programming, web development, robotics, and they will attend talks about available careers in technology."
"Moreover, they would learn how technology can be used innovatively to create useful and responsive tools that meet local needs. In fact, during the last week of the camp, the girls will be given an opportunity to work on projects of their choices, projects that would be able to facilitate local the lives of people working in other fields such as agriculture, medicine, business," she said. "By introducing those girls to technology from an early age, showing them the impact of technology locally, and by proving them that they too can make it into the technology fields despite what the world around them tells them, the camp would be fulfilling its goal as the gender barriers that limit girls from pursuing technology fields will be surmounted."
"I decided to apply for the program because I knew that I would meet with people from all over the world who have experience solving gender barriers in STEM fields, and be able to learn and develop practical skills from them," she added. "Moreover, I know I would be able to meet other young people who are passionate about solving global issues and be inspired to better work on my commitment. I am also participating in a resolution social venture challenge, where I may able to win funding for my commitment."
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.