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Provided by Ellie Koewler

Derreck Kayongo to speak on how OU students can succeed; OU Housing to raffle room choice to attendees

The speech is part of OU's international week.

Derreck Kayongo, creator of the Atlanta-based Global Soap Project and a Top 10 CNN Hero of 2011, will speak Wednesday about how students can brand themselves for international success.

The Global Soap Project was created to combat the lack of hygiene and global health in underdeveloped countries by recycling the leftover soap from hotels across the United States. Because of this program, those who previously did not have access to these basic hygiene practices, such as hand washing, now can prevent hygiene-related illnesses.

Kayongo’s arrival is a part of International Week, and has an incentive for students living in the new residence halls on South Green in the Fall Semester.

“We are raffling off a suite where the winner picks any space they want in the new residence halls,” said Ellie Koewler, a senior studying anthropology and events specialist for International Week. “That’s been getting a lot of publicity because of the housing prize associated with it, but even without that prize, he will be a huge draw, especially from his international claim.”

Students have a chance to win by attending the event, and will be able to pick any room and three other students to live in the new residence halls for the 2015-16 academic year.

Koewler said Residential Housing came up with the idea to raffle off a suite, but is not sure which of the four buildings the winner will be able to pick from. Housing fees will still apply. 

“Regardless of the prize, (Kayongo) will talk about untapping your inner potential in your ability to create social change, or social entrepreneurship,” Koewler said. “It’s not only showcasing this to the international community, but it’s also inspiring people to alter their world view and encourage goal making at the individual level. “

Morgan Robinette, a freshman studying nursing, said she is undecided which residence hall she wants to live in next year, and would love an opportunity to be in the new dorms.

“New is definitely better,” she said. “The new facilities that come with it would be better than the ones we have now, so I’d be for that.”

It’s true the new dorms are enticing, but the higher cost of them compared to some of the older residence halls can be a setback.

“I can’t afford the new dorms,” said Hannah Veerkamp, a freshman studying child and family services. “It sounds super awesome, and all of my friends are living there, but I don’t have a roommate.”

Kayongo is a Uganda native. He thought of the Global Soap Project in the 1990s, and promotes himself as someone living the American Dream, Koewler said.

“Bring you and your three friends to come and see him,” Koewler said. “That way you can all enter and better your chances of winning, and see a charismatic and dynamic story.” 


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