Before attending MMSY I was spending my summer vacation mostly helping my father out with construction of a new building we were going to live in. I woke up at 7 a.m. mostly every single day and would finish helping my father out at around 6 p.m. It was rigorous work but I think that it was good for my body as I learned how to work hard. Sometimes working is not a bad thing; it helps you get stronger in many ways. I was very tired after the work and would spend the rest of the day washing up, helping to cook dinner, watching the Yankee game that was on that night, reading, and then going to bed. That was my routine for about three weeks in the summer prior to going to this program.

Another thing that I was doing over this summer was looking at colleges. I am currently going into my senior year at Millennium High School in lower Manhattan, and am trying very hard to figure out what I want to major in. The latest thing that I wanted to major in going into college is architecture. I have been very interested in architecture over the past few years and have taken a yearlong college course in it at Pratt Institute in Manhattan. Going forward I don't know what I want to major in, but I am looking at as many colleges with a strong foundation in liberal arts and some schools that have an architecture major. As I have heard that going into college not knowing what major or what occupation you want to be when you are older, may not matter because you can figure it out while in college, change is not a bad thing.

Going to MMSY and touring UN was very fun for me especially because I have not been inside its doors my whole life, not even through the visitors part. It is a shame especially since I live in Brooklyn and it is only a 25-minute ride and a 10-minute walk from my home. I encourage everyone who lives in the city to take advantage of where they live and go see the United Nations. Through attending many programs of the United Nations, the UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Funds), and the WHO (World Heath Organization), I have learned how these programs within the United Nations are trying to help the world. I have also learned how unfortunate many parts of our world are. Even though I have seen a lot concerning this in my daily life, these programs helped me understand the real problems around the world.

We also attended UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) assembly, which taught me about what types of things the United Nations is doing to help women around the world. I thought it was an interesting program particularly because the only men in the assembly were the few in the MMSY program, and many of the young women at the assembly were napping. Besides that I thought it was very informative. I especially enjoyed the 6th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

The first thing that I learned was how to get up early in the summer, I found it was very hard, but I was always on time, which was one of the emphasises of the program. I learned about children soldiers on the first day and was appalled when hearing how many children in the Congo, in Africa are being raised as soldiers from a very young age. I went to many other meetings that were quite interesting like one from the UNODA (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs) and one from the Grameen Bank, which helped me understand what others are doing to help the problems we are having within our world like lending loans for example to help create a small business. I also saw a couple of cultural performances, one from the United States and one from Indonesia, I found the Indonesian cultural dance the most fascinating and beautiful because of how graceful the movements were. Ultimately, I learned that I can truly help out as an individual. I thought it was interesting to listen and take in all of the information that I was getting, but the most important thing was the fact that I thought to myself, "Wow I can make a difference." I think establishing that kind of thought into your head is the most important part of this experience of the MMSY program. You realize that you can get up and help others, and be part of a cause and help the United Nations, which needs a greater amount of younger people to join them.

Another important thing I learned from the experience at the MMSY was what I learned with the friends that I met at the program. At first when I entered the program I was a bit nervous, I don't know why, it might be because I am a bit shy, but when I met all of the students in MMSY they instantly became my new friends. I am amazed that in two weeks I have met very interesting people and was able to know so much more than I could think of about them. I heard from some other students who went to the program last year as well and they told me they had the same feeling as well. It has to be Mahroo that makes this amazing group of youth become somewhat of a family, and for that I thank her so much. Because of this whole experience I am more open minded as a person, and I am more outspoken, the best part is that it all can happen in such a small increment of time. I am sure the friends I have made at this program will be my friends for a long time.

I am already starting to apply all that I have learned from this program to my life. I have become a different person because of it. The first thing I am going to do on September 9th, 2009 when school starts is talk to my counselors about the program that I went to over the summer and explain to them how wonderful the MMSY program was for me. I think that it is so rare to find such an opportunity anywhere like this, it shouldn't be because the youth in our world is very important, especially in times like today. However, the MMSY program is very unique and taught me many valuable things that is why I want to share it with my school. Perhaps my school can talk to the United Nations and make this type of program come alive within my own school. My school can definitely help out the United Nations, and make a change in this world; we just need an opportunity like this one. The opportunity is here, we just need to work together and help out. Sometimes work can be good, I learned that somewhat when working with my father, but I learned that even more so by going to the MMSY program.



ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights