Second-year MSW/MSP student Robert Sagastume has been selected among thousands of applicants to attend the 11th annual Clinton Global Initiative University this fall. CGI U seeks to bring together student leaders to develop concrete steps toward solving global issues.
Approximately 1,000 students were chosen to attend the initiative established by former President Bill Clinton based on their proposed “commitments to action.” This year’s event will take place Oct. 19-21 at University of Chicago and aims to bring undergraduate and graduate students together to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world. The three-day event focuses on providing students with networking opportunities, skill workshops, speakers and panels led by professionals such as Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright.
“My ‘commitment to action’ proposal was based off an idea by an undocumented youth-led group known as the Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance,” said Sagastume, who served as the group’s co-director for 2 1/2 years. “It includes a program where undocumented/DACA students mentor other immigrant and non-immigrant students so they can achieve postsecondary education.”
Due to Missouri’s current policies towards this specific population, the high school dropout rate continues to increase, he stated.
Sagastume was born and raised in Honduras until age 12 before migrating to the United States, navigating through society as a former undocumented and DACA immigrant.
“There’s a need for visible support for undocumented and DACA immigrant students,” he continued. “High school students in this situation feel they are alone, and end up giving up on their education. This program focuses on encouraging students to complete high school and identifying postsecondary educational institutions that might help them succeed—regardless of policies implemented to hinder their advancement in academia.”
Sagastume is excited by this opportunity to gather with other student leaders looking to initiate positive change in their communities, countries and around the world. “This is a wonderful chance to use all I’ve learned at the Brown School to gain momentum around this issue. I’m so grateful for the support of my many mentors.”
Sagastume is also a Clark-Fox Policy Scholar in the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, which provides graduate students with a rigorous and immersive experience that helps Brown School students understand the formation of social policy as a high-impact tool for positive social change. To learn more about the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, visit https://clarkfoxpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu.