Media CenterCollege Students from Across the U.S. to Descend on Capitol Hill to Make their Voices Heard

Photo by Jim Burger for CRS

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 955- 7125


Second Biennial Leadership Summit Connects Youth with Legislators to Advocate on Urgent International Issues

WASHINGTON, DC, July 16, 2018 -- During the second biennial Student Ambassador Leaders Together (SALT) summit, organized by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), students from dozens of colleges and universities across the United States will gather in Washington, DC to advocate for policy change on key international humanitarian issues, such as global migration and hunger.

“The one thing that everyone is excited about is the visit to DC,” said Eric Abowd, a graduate student from Kent State University attending his second SALT summit. “To gain experience with [advocacy] is something.”

The three-day summit, which culminates on Capitol Hill on July 18, will also include skill-building sessions focused on leadership; campus organizing; and advocacy. Students will put these new skills to the test when they travel to Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with Congressional staff.

“We see our summit as a chance for young people with shared Catholic values to learn from each other and speak up about the many challenges facing our world today,” said Kim Lamberty, director of CRS’ University Engagement team. “We are proud to be bringing these important voices to Washington.”  

Since holding its first student gathering in 2014, the number of participating schools has nearly doubled, with 175 students and staff representing 60 campuses.

“College students are taking an increasingly active role on their campuses and in their communities in pushing for policy change. What we’re trying to do is take those leadership skills to the next level by giving them an opportunity to engage with policy-makers,” Lamberty said.

The SALT Summit is part of the CRS Student Ambassador program, which engages college students of CRS’ partner schools across the country in advocacy and leadership training. The program is organized through on-campus chapters of student leaders who are trained by CRS to mobilize their peers to hold events, seminars and engage in advocacy. Chapters are connected to one another and to CRS in order to build a national movement for impactful change.

The Student Ambassadors at the event will represent 60 colleges and universities, including; Alvernia University, Avila University, Boston College, Cabrini University, Caldwell University, Carlow University, Carroll College, Catholic University of American, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Christian Brothers University, College of Saint Benedict, College of Sain Scholastica, Creighton University, DePaul University, DeSales University, Eastern Illinois University, Felician University, Fordham University, Gannon University, Georgian Court University, Immaculata University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, King’s College, La Salle Univeristy, Lewis University, Loyola University Maryland, Manhattan College, Marquette University, Misericordia University, Missouri State University, Mount Saint Mary College, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Northwestern University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Ohio State University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Rowan University, Saint Ambrose University, Saint John’s University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Martin’s University, Saint Mary’s College of Indiana, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Saint Mary’s University of Texas, Saint Norbert College, Saint Vincent College, Tulane University, University of Dayton, University of Maryland College Park, University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, University of Saint Thomas, University of San Diego, University of Scranton, University of Southern California, University of the Incarnate Word, Villanova University, and Xavier University of Louisana.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Tags: Advocacy


Nikki Gamer

Media Relations Manager

Nikki Gamer
July 16, 2018

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Media Relations Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement of...More