MHCC's ‘Cinderella Story’ Finishes 2nd
in National Competition

Posted April 8, 2013

Mt. Hood Community College’s (MHCC) Glenda Alfaro finished second in the Clinton Global Initiative University’s (CGIU) Commitments Challenge April 6 at Washington University in St. Louis.

The 20-year-old student from El Salvador joined the first place finisher from Arizona State University onstage with President Bill Clinton and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. After the initial selection to the “Sweet 16,” contestants advanced through the brackets based on votes.


Alfaro’s project will replenish nutrient-poor soil and stimulate agricultural production through composting in her hometown of Jardins de la Nueva. She described the CGIU experience: “At first when I saw the voting closed and we were behind, I felt sad. But when I was asked to go onstage I was really surprised and excited. When I walked out and people were clapping I felt very proud. I felt excited for everyone who was voting for so many days now and working so hard for this.  I feel satisfied. We didn't win, but our effort was 100 percent and it feels really good to be here still representing my family and country, MHCC and the SEED program. This experience is like a dream. I'm still so surprised and excited."

Nikki Gillis, SEED program coordinator, offered these observations: “I'm overwhelmed with pride for Glenda and our entire local, national and international community that has supported this effort. I was really impressed with how Glenda has handled herself through this entire experience including her poise onstage. What a dream for her and the other seven students from Mt. Hood Community College who attended the conference!”

MHCC students, employees and the community across the U.S. and abroad rallied to advance Alfaro’s project to the final round. As the only community college in the competition, Alfaro and MHCC went head-to-head in a Cinderella story against some of the most esteemed schools in America, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Duke and Columbia University.

Alfaro is part of MHCC’s SEED program, which brings young leaders from rural areas of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to the United States for two-year technical training programs. The Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and administered by Georgetown University.

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 Last Modified: 7/25/2014 07:14:53 AM