Students changing the world with Clinton initiative

10 June 2021 | Students News

Lincoln students Luke Robb and Alice Docking are part of a programme building the next generation of leaders on university campuses around the world.

The Future Leader Scholars are the only New Zealand students in the Clinton Global Initiative University, which allows them to take part in virtual sessions with United States Vice-President Kamala Harris, as well as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The sessions give them the skills to address issues such as climate change, environment, democracy, and racial injustice, and they are asked to come up with actions of their own to implement change. The programme is for one year, and they plan to run pilots of their own projects next year.

They are also given mentors to assist them, and work in virtual groups with students from around the world.

Alice’s goals are to help normalise Te Ao Māori in schools, particularly in Years 7-8, and promote sustainability. She says the Māori world view acknowledges the interconnectedness and interrelationship of all living and non-living things.

Alice is in her second year of a Bachelor of Environmental Management, with an additional Parks and Outdoor Recreation Major.

“The programme is giving me great support to develop my leadership skills and build relationships with similarly focused people,” she said. “I am excited to share my passion for my initiative and my learnings from the programme with other students at Lincoln University.”

Luke, in his second year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, is excited about taking part in the programme.

"Opportunities to connect with other like-minded students from around the world don't come around often, and it is an honour to have been chosen to participate,” he said.

“Already, I have learnt so much about how I can have a positive impact in our community and cannot wait to share my learnings and journey with others in the Lincoln community.”

One of his major goals includes bringing about change in education at a primary level.

From an urban background, he wants to bridge the divide between the rural sector and city dwellers and encourage more people to work in the food and fibre sectors. He said this was in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger by increasing food security.

Both Alice and Luke want to produce readily available resources that teachers can use.  

They said they would incorporate their work into their Future leader Scholarship programme, which includes community work and assistance as a central tenet. The initiative serves as an extension of the work they are carrying out in the programme.

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