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Mary Student Attends Phoenix Workshop

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A University of Mary student, known for her brilliance and dedication, has been chosen to attend a very prestigious national conference this weekend.

The Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. is a place for 1,200 students to share their ideas and plans on how to make the world better.
  
Students going to the conference have a "commitment to action." And  UMary junior Timmi Hutchinson's commitment to action is one she takes very seriously.

She was drawn to help those with spinal muscular atrophy after learning her figure skating coaches' two children, Lexie and Zander, had the disease.

Since Hutchinson and her husband are skaters, she created a fundraising event called Skating for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

"When people got on the ice, I didn't get off the ice for 12 hours. I was committed to skate for 12 hours because they couldn't. So, I let people know this is a disease that can't go on," says Hutchinson.

Hutchinson raised more than $3,000 and bought leg braces, electric wheel chairs and other mobility devices for them.

Wanting to do more, Hutchinson majored in Pre-Medicine to become a pediatric doctor.

Hutchinson's teachers best describe her as a humble leader.

"One day she said I'm gonna be missing class a couple of days toward the end of March because I have to go to this Clinton Global Initiative. Other than that, I didn't know she had applied for it," says chemistry teacher Marla Behm.

"I really didn't expect anybody was gonna jump on it," says Cheryl Kalberer of the UMary Emerging Leaders Academy. "But Timmi is driven and she jumped on it and from the rest is history."

Hutchinson applied to the Clinton Global Initiatives University conference to network, plan and learn.

"Learn how I can best service people with spinal muscular atrophy," says Hutchison. "I started with Zander and Lexie, are their names, started with those two little kids, and I wanna do anything I can to help them. But, also reach out to the whole SMA community."

The weekend long conference has students working with youth organizations, experts and celebrities to fulfill their commitments.

The conference begins tomorrow and goes until Sunday. Hutchinson says she knows she'll come back full of ideas and plans to jump start her commitment.

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