How CGI University alumni are taking action to combat COVID-19

Meet five alumni who are using lessons learned from CGI University to lead the way in fighting this global health crisis.

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From left to right: CGI U alumni Andrew Aboujaoude ’16, Christine Schindler ’12, Sixto Cancel ’13, Mariam Adil ’14, and Kennedy Odede ‘10.

Since 2008, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) has brought together thousands of students to develop innovative solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges. After COVID-19 made an immediate impact in communities around the world, many students in CGI U’s diverse alumni network have turned their ideas into action to combat the pandemic.

From spreading awareness and public health guidance to serving people experiencing homelessness in communities across the country, meet five CGI U alums rolling up their sleeves to address COVID-19.

Using video games to combat the spread of misinformation

When COVID-19 began impacting communities around the world, Mariam and her team quickly got to work to combat the spread of misinformation with a new game, CoronaCombat.

The game takes users on a fact-seeking, myth-busting adventure aimed at emphasizing the facts and best practices around COVID-19. In May, GRID was able to release the game in English and Urdu, in order to expand their reach to communities in Pakistan.

Speaking out to support foster youth

When the pandemic caused an immediate change to daily life, Sixto began working to support foster youth dealing with its impacts. He’s been tirelessly advocating for policies that will help the child welfare system get through this crisis, and provide additional support and services to foster youth. His organization Think of Us created the Foster Care COVID-19 Command Center in collaboration with foster youth, agencies, and others serving foster youth across the U.S. In addition, Think of Us has hosted a COVID-19-focused town hall series to connect with hundreds of older foster youth around the country.

Supporting essential businesses on the front lines

Handwashing has been considered one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions to slowing the spread of outbreaks like COVID-19. Christine and her team at PathSpot quickly mobilized to find creative ways to utilize the technology to help a growing base of businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, farms, and more protect their employees and customers. In addition, PathSpot is working to adapt its technology for use across essential industries like hospitals and schools. As businesses begin to reopen, PathSpot is helping lead the way to a more hygienic environment for customers and employees.

Creating innovative solutions to flatten the curve in Kenya

Amid the pandemic, densely populated communities like Kibera were forced on the front lines, in need of creative solutions where social distancing was not possible. In order to flatten the curve, SHOFCO installed more than 200 handwashing stations throughout Kenya, in addition to providing critical supplies and educational resources. Kennedy recently joined Chelsea Clinton in a discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities such as Kibera.

Serving vulnerable communities across the country

Hearts for Homeless has expanded these efforts beyond Orlando to reach vulnerable communities nationwide, from Los Angeles to Boston, and in the wake of COVID-19, his team continues to put people experiencing homelessness first by distributing resources during this challenging time. Hearts for the Homeless International has provided sanitation packages, washing stations, and educational resources to vulnerable communities. His team has also mobilized hundreds of student volunteers in seven major cities to help people who are homeless connect to health solutions during COVID-19.

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Learn more about CGI U’s COVID-19 resources for students and higher education professionals here.

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CGI U is a growing network of young leaders who are developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

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