Camille McGirt always believed that actions taken locally can have a ripple effect and change lives around the globe. That core idea is inherent in the name Healthy Girls Save the World (HGSW), the nonprofit she founded in 2011 as an undergraduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Fast forward to 2017, and McGirt has not only earned her second degree from Carolina – a master’s in public health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health – but the work she began by launching the nonprofit while in Chapel Hill will now be recognized in front of the world. Specifically, her continued commitment to strengthen and expand HGSW has earned her an invitation to appear on the main stage at the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U).
Each year, CGI U convenes students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities to discuss and explore solutions to the greatest global challenges of our time. While at the event, students makes Commitments to Action that address issues on campus, in their local communities or in other countries.
McGirt’s recognition at CGI U 2017, which will be held at Northeastern University, is due to her persistent dedication to Healthy Girls Save the World, which organizes after-school programs and summer camps for girls that encourage them to develop healthy and balanced lifestyles. Through the program, young girls learn about the importance of proper nutrition, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles – lessons that prepare them to make healthy choices in their lives.
While at Carolina, McGirt worked with and received support from a variety of programs, including the Bryan Fellowship, CUBE, the Gillings School of Global Public Health and Innovate Carolina. She has also received support from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.
Her recognition at the CGI U event is the culmination of the years of work McGirt has spent helping girls in middle school girls, serving local communities and increasing awareness about health equity and disparities.
And while McGirt will be on the main stage, several other UNC undergraduate students are also planning to attend CGI U, including several team members from Feelin’ DNA. Feelin’ DNA is an organization started by Carolina students who aim to inspire the visually impaired community by providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers with 3-D models so they can incorporate them into their classrooms.