Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related Tusculum College’s “Help Me Help You” program has been selected as one of the top programs in the nation by the Clinton Global Initiative University, a national foundation that recognizes innovative programs and projects that have a large impact with global reach.

“Help Me Help You” and its co-founder, Luis Zamora, a junior business and economics major from Santiago, Chile, will be recognized at the Foundation’s global conference in Washington D.C. next March.

“This is a wonderful achievement and recognition for Luis, his program and for Tusculum College,” said President Nancy B. Moody. “He is the epitome of what Tusculum College represents and hopes to instill in its students. Luis is a student-scholar and student-athlete who is very conscious of his civic responsibility.”

Every year, the Clinton Global Initiative University reviews thousands of projects and programs from all over the world in order to select the most promising commitments to action.  “Help Me Help You” co founders Xamora and Rodrigo Gimenez, are the first award recipients from Tusculum College and from Chile. Gimenez serves as director of operations in Chile.

“Help Me Help You” was honored for devising and implementing a small business support program that is applicable in underdeveloped regions such as Appalachia in the U.S. and in Chile.

In addition, with the hope of creating a global network that helps encourage the small business support around the world, Zamora and Gimenez also committed to sharing the program at no charge with any business student and/or academic institution that would like to implement “Help Me Help You” in their respective countries. The program is already available in both Spanish and English.

According to Zamora, this involves not only sharing the course content and additional documents, but also supporting and guiding the academic institution on an ongoing basis in order to ensure an adequate implementation, as well as providing access to the program’s Global University Platform to further enhance the current efforts of all institutions involved worldwide.

Zamora ― who was named Tusculum’s Academic Freshman of the Year in 2009-10 and Duffield Award-winner  in 2010-11 for being the student-athlete with the highest grade point average ― and Gimenez created “Help Me Help You” in partnership with the University of Chile, located in Santiago.

The program started last fall with nine participants and eight monitors completing a 10-week course that aims to create a mutual learning environment between students and small business owners. The spring semester program has enrolled 12 new participants and began in January. The overwhelming support the program has received in Greeneville, in addition to its innovative concept of providing benefits for all of the different individuals involved, has carried through into the negotiations of implementing the program overseas.

Zamora has been invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University annual conference to be held in George Washington University in the nation’s capitol March 30-April 1, 2013.

“This is an amazing opportunity because President Bill Clinton, together with world leaders such as Nobel Peace Prize winners, non-profit directors, hundreds of CEOs and other distinguished people will be assisting and presenting in a number of extremely helpful topics,” said Zamora.

The Clinton Global Initiative University challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. Members are encouraged to take concrete steps to solve problems by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and working together as they complete their projects.

Tusculum College, the oldest college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation, is a liberal arts institution committed to utilizing the civic arts in developing educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service and qualities of Judeo-Christian character. Approximately twenty-two hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and three off-site locations in East Tennessee. The academic programs for both traditional-aged students and working adults served through the Graduate and Professional Studies program are delivered using focused calendars whereby students enroll in one course at a time.