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Two from Fisher attend Clinton Global Initiative University

January 21, 2019

Last fall, St. John Fisher College undergraduates Liam Wicks ’20 and Josh Miles ’19 had the opportunity to network with student leaders from across the country at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference, held at the University of Chicago. Wicks and Miles are believed to be the first students to represent Fisher at CGI U.

Josh Miles and Liam Wicks attended the Clinton Global Initiative University in November 2018.

According to CGI U’s website, the meeting gives student leaders the strategies to “turn their ideas in action.” Now in its 11th year, CGI U includes plenary and working sessions, networking events, and dozens of talks on issues and concerns in the areas of education, the environment, peace and human rights, poverty, and public health.

For Wicks and Miles, the conference offered guidance and advice on how to help their student organization, Pencils and Paper, stay a successful, sustainable initiative on campus. Launched in 2018, the student group has a partnership with Pencils and Paper, a 5,000 square foot store front on Jay Street in Rochester, run by the Jewish Family Service of Rochester. With the look and feel of an office supply store, the store provides free school supplies—rows and racks full of markers, paper, arts and craft supplies, and other products—to secondary education teachers who work in low-income school districts. Fisher students serve as volunteers for the store and host regular drives to collect school supplies for the organization.

“We learned a lot about scaling projects,” said Miles, an inclusive adolescence education and history major, who founded the student group. “One speaker talked about how rapid growth isn’t always a good thing; you have to limit yourself and do what’s feasible instead of trying to become too big too fast. So that’s something we’ll keep in mind.”

Wicks, a human resources management and political science major, who moves into the role of president this spring, said he hopes to encourage other Fisher students to consider applying to attend CGI U.

“We made so many connections and heard from so many inspiring speakers on how to improve our commitments and solve issues,” he said. “I would definitely like to see more Fisher students represent the College at the conference.”