Education
2:58 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

CGI-U Closes With Day Of Service

President Bill Clinton (center) poses for a picture with student volunteers and St. Louis Rams Defensive End Robert Quinn.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

After a weekend full of exchanging ideas on how to make the world a better place, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI-U) closed today with a day of service at Gateway STEM High School in St. Louis City.  

President Bill Clinton told volunteers and students that the country must focus on STEM education, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

With that in mind, Gateway STEM High School Principal, Beth Bender, said volunteers who spent the day fixing up the school will make an immediate difference.  

“When they walk in tomorrow it will be like a whole new place,” Bender said.  “That is so profound to students who so often don’t get what they deserve.”

Bender said in addition to improving aesthetics, solar panels being installed on the school’s roof will not only help trim energy costs, they’ll also be developed into hands on learning tools for majors ranging from engineering to business.

Clinton said retrofitting similar school buildings to be more environmentally sustainable is a huge economic opportunity. 

The existing school buildings in America are an enormous employment opportunity for the American workforce, including for the toughest to place workers,” Clinton said.  “Middle aged people who didn’t go beyond high school, or had had blue collar jobs who once had good livings even if they didn’t finish high school.  Everybody can be trained to retrofit these buildings.” 

More than 1,000 college students from around the world participated in CGI-U this weekend, which was held on the campus of Washington University.

Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter: @TimSLloyd

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