LEAD Scholars Academy
LEAD Scholars represented at national conference for social change
Seventeen UCF students set off to change the world April 1-3 at Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) national conference at the University of California, Berkeley. One student group included three Biomedicine majors (second years Andrew Aboujaoude and Jennifer Carvel, and third year Aleis Ghersi). All three are members of the Burnett Honors College and Alexis and Andrew are also students in the LEAD Scholars Academy. Their group “Hearts for the Homeless” seeks to improve the availability of healthcare for the homeless community in Orlando by providing free health screenings that will detect hypertension, one of the deadliest diseases of the homeless demographic. These students were chosen as Resolution Project scholars, a competitive grant competition that chose only 20 teams this year. The group will receive mentoring and $2500 in seed funding for their project. Andrew Aboujaoude had this to say about his experience. "The LEAD Scholars Academy along with the school-sponsored CGIU conference were excellent ways to turn a dream into a reality. Beside this sincere gratitude, I would like to say that Hearts for the Homeless were extremely honored to represent the homeless community, UCF, and the city of Orlando on the international stage to compete for resources that could help make our college and our community a better place. The feeling of winning is a great feeling, but the feeling of winning for a community is inexpressible! We truly enjoyed the conference and were able to obtain the financial resources and the networking contacts that will one day make Hearts for the Homeless an international social change concept." This is the second time that UCF students have received the honor of being Resolution Project scholars through CGIU. Freshman computer science major, Chad Maycumber, also received accolades this year at CGIU. Chad participated in the annual Codeathon computer science competition. He was assigned to a small group of students representing various universities. The Codeathon topic was mental health on college campuses and teams were instructed to create the infrastructure for an app that addresses this issue. Chad’s team tied for first place with their “Be Well” program. This is the first time UCF has had a student participate in the Codeathon competition. Dr. Stacey Malaret, facilitator for CGIU said, “I am very excited that UCF is providing a platform for student social change initiatives to come to fruition through the CGIU program. Our students have such great ideas and a passion for their community that will benefit from this funding and mentoring.” The 2016 CGIU project summaries for all seventeen students may be viewed below. Students may learn more about CGIU here.