FDU has two new United Nations Youth Representatives for
2017 – a competitive title to earn here. Kaitlyn Esposito from the Florham
Campus and Ola Gomaa from the Metropolitan Campus.
The U.N. Department of Public Information sees young people
as a critical group in its work with non-governmental organizations. The Youth
Representatives receive a yearly U.N. Grounds Pass, access to events, and the
change to participate in activities and to network with other NGOs.
After picking up their United Nations ground passes, both
students attended the Youth Assembly at the U.N. from Feb. 1-3, 2017, where youth from 84
countries gathered to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The
assembly was three days of intensive sessions and side events, with plenty of
opportunities to connect with like-minded peers, as well as leaders from civil
society, the private sector, and the United Nations. The main sub-focus of the
Winter Youth Assembly was the 2030 agenda to stimulate action over the next 15
years to reduce poverty and hunger, increase equality and peace, and maintain
the planet. Panelists at the assembly
specifically touched upon Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 4: Quality Education, and
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Esposito, who is a Presidential Scholar and already very
involved in her community - the Vice Chair of the Honors On-Campus Programming
Committee, the Public Relations Officer of Pay It Forward, and an active member
of the Dance Team - said that through the discussions, and question and answer
sessions she gained a deeper understanding of the SDGs and hopes to raise
awareness at FDU and her local community. “As the rising generation of youth, I
believe we need to spread awareness of the SDGs and act upon them to preserve
our planet for generations to come,” she said.
Gomaa, who is an international graduate student pursuing her
MBA in International Business, said that the most important topic discussed in
the assembly was about how youth should not simply be a topic, but rather should
be a vital tool in achieving these targets. “We’re responsible to achieve these
goals as much as the U.N. and all the global organizations working for it. If
we obtained healthy habits and started on a small scale trying to spread
knowledge about U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, we will definitely help
create a better society and maybe even a better world. Don’t underestimate the
power of individual actions and start with yourself,” she said. Gomaa said that
she is excited for her new role where she could transfer her knowledge from the
U.N. to the FDU community, while simultaneously becoming a more active member
of both the global and FDU community. “I love helping people and I love
creating change in their lives and the U.N. is the perfect place that helps to
achieve these aspects,” she said.
Both representatives will report every month about their
experience at the United Nations and working with NGOs. Together with the
Office of Global Learning, they will be available to help other FDU students
with questions and to get involved into UN activities.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017