Last week, six Fairfield University students representing JUHAN participated in the 2017 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations in New York, NY. The 3-day conference brought together youth leaders from over 85 countries around the world to foster dialogue and generate partnerships on the international stage. The theme for this year’s conference, Realizing the 2030 Agenda: Youth in Action, creates a platform in which youth leaders discuss how to address multifaceted global issues such as poverty, education, and sustainability in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals put forward by the United Nations. Read what some of the JUHAN delegates had to say about this unique leadership opportunity below:

Nadra Al-Hamwy (Class of 2018, Majors: Politics and International Studies)

“Following this trip, I feel more empowered than ever before to leave a positive impact on my world. I am so thankful for Julie Mughal from the Center of Faith and Public Life for giving me the chance to meet passionate, innovative students from all over the world and to learn about the great work that is being done to address the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I’ve obtained a renewed sense of how much agency I truly have and I recommend this trip to anyone interested.”

Michael J. Harding (Class of 2018, Majors: Politics and International Studies)

“It was an overwhelming experience sitting in the General Assembly at the United Nations with youth leaders from all corners of the globe. It was incredible seeing the amazing diversity in our world represented on such a large scale. The joy with which my peers engaged with and learned from people who looked, sounded, and dressed differently from them gave me hope that by embracing our diversity, incorporating different perspectives, and working together we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build a brighter future for our planet.”

Timothy Salit (Class of 2019, Major: Finance, Minors: Communication and Humanitarian Action)

“It was incredible to be surrounded by a worldly and motivated group of youth leaders, in such a historically significant hall.  There was a special energy radiating in the air from the moment we entered the assembly.  Despite how anyone felt about the present, there was no doubt we could rely on one another for positive, sustainable change as we look into the future. It was an awesome opportunity to grow and learn, as a global citizen.”

Mariah Kasparek (Class of 2018, Major: Politics, Minor: Humanitarian Action)

“Being at the United Nations for the Youth Assembly was an amazing experience. The overall message of the assembly was a hopeful one, that the youth of our society have the power to create change and use our voices to stand up for what we believe in. Having the chance to talk with other young people from different countries about politics was very beneficial in examining my own view of politics through my studies at school.  Also, being in the presence of people who work for the United Nations and who impact the world in numerous ways on a daily basis was inspiring.”

The JUHAN delegates would like to thank Julie Mughal in the Center for Faith and Public Life for coordinating this incredible opportunity!

To learn more about the Youth Assembly at the United Nations check out their website here: UN Youth Assembly

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