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She was participating in the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting 2013 in New York. There, she made a speech titled ‘Beyond a degree: Broader benefits of girl education’. Hilary Clinton, Bono, Sean Penn and Bill Gates also attended the meeting.
Speaking before the event, Mwende said: “I am humbled and honored to have this chance to share my views on girl education. Being a recipient of a Clinton scholarship from the American University in Dubai, I know firsthand how eye-opening and important education is. To be able to share one’s views openly is not a chance I take lightly.
Mwende’s session saw members examine the progress of current efforts being made to ensure all girls are in school. Members explored opportunities to build cross-sector partnerships with the goal of providing the skills, information, and self-confidence necessary for girls worldwide to be exceptional students, citizens, and workers.
Mwende was also appointed a Microsoft YouthSpark Advisor, and participated in the session entitled ‘The World’s Youth: Building the Future’ hosted by Microsoft, which covered talks on how the world’s youth are paving the way for the future, but continue to face significant obstacles in the road ahead.
Mende’s journey with the American University in Dubai and the Clinton Global Initiative began back in 2009 when she told how she was able to finish school thanks to the commitment of the Global Give Back Circle, a program funded and supported by individuals and companies around the world.
Attending the annual meeting that year was, Executive Vice President of AUD, Mr. Elias Bou Saab. Moved by her story, he granted Mwende and her two friends the opportunity to continue their higher education under the Clinton Scholars Program at AUD. There, Mwende became President of the Student Government Association, a member of the AUD volleyball team, as well as other students clubs on campus. She graduated in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance. She is today working with the External Relations Office at AUD.
Bou Saab says: “Thanks to the Clinton Scholars Program at AUD we were able to help Mary build a successful future. She is living proof that education is the key. As AUD values the intellectual, personal and professional development of its students, our university is truly the place where potential is turned into success. We are very proud of Mary.