Three University of Arkansas at Little Rock students attended the Clinton Global Initiative University Oct. 13-15 at Northeastern University in Boston to discuss their design of a water pump to provide clean drinking water to a rural village in Haiti. 

This is the second year UA Little Rock has participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Network, a growing consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide seed funding to student leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are developing solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Team members include Lottie Richardson, a fall 2017 systems engineering graduate, Tanner Harris, and Samuel Shelton, both spring 2017 graduates of UA Little Rock. Dr. Andrew Wright, associate professor of systems engineering, also attended the event as the faculty liaison.

“We would like to see the students learn how to take their ideas to implementation,” Wright said. “Part of implementation is developing funding and partnerships. Interacting with other like-minded students will help them build their partnerships, develop their ideas, and develop ways to get funding for their projects.”

The team attending CGI U is working with Water Wishes, Inc., a nonprofit organization that introduces clean water solutions to redesign and build a water pump that will provide access to clean drinking water in a rural village in Haiti.

“Students our age are going above and beyond for people in this country and others,” Richardson said. “It’s humbling. It makes you feel like there are still good people on this Earth.”

CGI U was founded in 2007 by former President Bill Clinton after the success of the Clinton Global Initiative, through which global leaders convene to implement plans to combat global challenges. The UA Little Rock Office of Community and Career Engagementhas sponsored the CGI U efforts at UA Little Rock.