John Coggin recalls his winning the Clinton Hunger Leadership Award and his opportunity to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University. Interview on May 30, 2012. (3:08)


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The day that I won that award has to be the best day of my life. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:04.642
Like I said I was surprised to get it. I had done a lot of work on hunger issues and especially some of those underlying issues 00:00:04.642 - 00:00:18.474
and I think because of that, because you can't see some of the good, you know when I was-. They were interviewing me beforehand and I felt like I wasn't giving them good examples of the outputs [Laughs] of my work, 00:00:18.474 - 00:00:29.164
but I think they understood that a lot of those outputs are not immediate and are on the long term. 00:00:29.164 - 00:00:35.920
But anyway I was surprised to get the award but they told me I'd received it and I got to be on stage with President Clinton, 00:00:35.920 - 00:00:45.107
which was a thrilling experience, in front of over a thousand people, and afterward I was thanking God literally that he did not ask me to speak in front of those people. [Laughs] 00:00:45.107 - 00:00:58.118
But afterwards we had some time where we were just sort of standing around and talking and that man, in the five minutes we were there, 00:00:58.118 - 00:01:09.977
was talking about everything from issues in Africa to food stamps in America and just seemed to know everything about every issue. 00:01:09.977 - 00:01:23.880
People talk about how he lights up a room and you think that you're the only person he's talking to; that's true and I also was rendered mute. I don't think I said an intelligible word. 00:01:23.880 - 00:01:33.521
But it was a really great experience and then afterwards I got a call from his people asking if I would attend the Clinton Global Initiative University. 00:01:33.521 - 00:01:47.621
So he has the Clinton Global Initiative where leaders from businesses and governments and nonprofits around the world commit to certain actions 00:01:47.621 - 00:01:54.858
And it's a great big deal in New York every year, but they also have started the Clinton Global Initiative University for college students 00:01:54.858 - 00:02:03.244
who also want to make a commitment to their communities or to the larger world. 00:02:03.244 - 00:02:06.823
[Pause] 00:02:06.823 - 00:02:08.341
And here's this big application process and there's about a thousand people that come who are chosen out of I don't know how many people that apply, 00:02:08.341 - 00:02:16.067
and I got a call in the first of February saying, "Do you want to go down to Austin next week and be a part of this?" and I said, sure. 00:02:16.067 - 00:02:22.871
So because of that award I went to this conference in Austin where I was around a thousand students from around the world, literally, who were doing incredible things. 00:02:22.871 - 00:02:36.550
People at NC State are so motivated to do good in the world, and to be around-. There's like a small group of people that I knew at State who were really taking leadership on doing some of that work. 00:02:36.550 - 00:02:48.436
To be around a thousand people from around the world and see it wasn't just at NC State, 00:02:48.436 - 00:02:52.668
there are people everywhere trying to do good things, and heard incredible speakers talk. Got some free TOMS shoes out of it, that sort of thing. It was fun. 00:02:52.668 - 00:03:01.898

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