MMSY 2012 students attended the 10th Youth Assembly at the United Nations. The theme was, ‘UNwired Generation: Youth Leveraging Technology for the MDGs’. It took place in UN Headquarters in New York.
Students had the opportunity to listen to series of panel speakers in General Assembly Hall, meet ambassadors of many different countries such as Bangladesh, Romania, and Kenya spoke about the importance of participation and leadership. They gave inspiring speeches to the students who were there with one mission; to have a “safer, better, more prosperous, more equitable, more inclusive society where hunger will be history, war and conflict will be thing of the past, and no one will be deprived of his or her basic rights”.
We went to mission of Kenya to interact with the ambassador. Students had the chance to initiate a discussion with her through series of questions. Another group heard to a group of panel speakers speak about ‘Education: Technology + Youth = Social Equity + Social Change’. The speakers included representatives from organizations ‘Pencils of Promise’, ‘Girls Who Code’ and etc.
Students also had the chance to listen to the panel speakers talk about ‘Social Inclusion: Technology + Opportunity = Empowerment’. Individuals from environmental sectors gave the students specific blueprint of what to do to make a difference. In order to strengthen the lesson, students listened to the panel speak about ‘Concept + Hard Work + Right Team = Success’. Speakers included representatives from ‘Education for Employment Foundation’, ‘UN Democracy Fund’, and etc.
On another occasion, students were exposed to series of speakers including representatives from ‘Global Partnerships Forum’ and ‘UN Foundation’. They spoke about the theme ‘Partnering for the MDGs: Public + Private + NGO = Results’.
We also heard from speakers from ‘Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots’, ‘IMB Smarter Planet’ and etc spoke about the theme ‘Planet Health: Technology + Community + Infrastructure = Sustainable Devt’. Speakers including a high school student spoke about the theme ‘Leverage Social Media: Connecting to Causes, Amplifying Your Impact’.
During students’ exposure to the United Nations, students may appreciate the fact that they could relate to the speakers. The panel speakers' background was normal like the students, and they struggled like the students to reach their dreams. They didn't sugarcoat the importance of persistence and effort to achieve their goals. They were honest enough to mention the obstacles and frustration they faced. This transparency probably played an important role in inspiring them. Their stories could really resonate within the delegates because the stories showed that truly anyone can bring about a change, whether it's small or big.
The most important aspect about the panel speakers was that they had diverse backgrounds. Their ethnicity, concentration, and age were very diverse. This was a positive factor because it once again emphasized the fact that nothing should stop the students from trying to achieve their goal.
Student also took advantage of the overwhelming opportunities to network at the program. These days, networking itself is a skill. MMSY 2012 students were able to network with other driven students from all over the world. The students were able to establish valuable connections.
Overall, anyone and everyone who came to our program went back home inspired, changed, and ready to make a difference.