Before my two-week experience at the United Nations, I had already been experiencing a busy summer. I had already been to France to visit my relatives, I had already gone to a French soccer camp in Lyon, and I had already gone to a pre-college writing program at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. To say the least, I had been around already. Little did I know that there was much more in store to come during my program at the MMSY.

I first found out about the Manhattan Multicultural Youth Program several months ago. It caught my eye for one specific reason. I only knew the United Nations by its name and I did not know much else. Sure I knew that there was a summit meeting there with all the leaders of the world, and sure I knew that it was on 42 and 1st. But what I didn’t know was what actually happened within the United Nations. The different organizations, the different missions, and the different role of each country were just a few of the things that I did not know about before coming into this program. Not only that, but I had never actually been inside the United Nations before my meeting with Mahroo and Anna. On that day, they encouraged me to enter the competition on memorizing the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for which I acttually won third prize. Because of my inexperience concerning the United Nations and because I wanted to gain knowledge in an area that to me was void, I decided to hop on board for this two weeks program.

I learned so much over the two weeks that I was in this program. The entire first week we spent our time listening and interacting with people from all over the world who represented each program in the UN. Programs such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO were just a few and every single program took care of different problems all over the world. Every single speaker was nice, smart, and informative. The last time I took so many notes was at school! There was so much to take in that it could not all be kept in my head. Listening to all these inspirational people really made us all think about what is happening in the world. They all do so much and almost nobody knows about it. For example, we all know that UNICEF hands out little orange boxes at every Halloween to collect money. But do you think that is the only thing they do? Think again! They do so much more than just hand out boxes and collect money. They take care of so many children across the globe who are in need of help. They work day in and day out to help anyone that needs it. All of these programs lend a helping hand to the poorer communities and poorer people of the world and almost nobody even realizes it. One thing I can tell you is that everyone in the program knew what was happening in the world after the first week and it really motivated us to do something.

The second week was even better than the first. First we learned about religious tolerance and the different beliefs and systems of believing by visiting a Christian Church, a Buddhist Temple, and a Jewish Synagogue. We were going to visit an Islamic Mosque but we unfortunately did not have time to. Learning about what different people believe in spiritually really gave us an insight on how some people go about their daily lives differently than others. After visiting the different sacred places around New York, and after taking a tour bus around Manhattan, we entered into the final part of our program. This final part would take place at the Youth Assembly. Hundreds of us crowded into a space to listen to speakers from all over and everyone looked like they were from a different country. It was amazing to see everyone come together and really support the efforts of the United Nations. We are the future and it was really inspiring to see everyone take part in an amazing event, which lasted three days.

More importantly than having an amazing time at the United Nations was the fact that this program really inspired me to make a difference in a world that needs people to stand up and help. Learning about all the different cultures and seeing what people do every day to make a difference in the world really inspired me to do something. In the future I will push my school to help out and I will try to spread the word about what happens everyday at the United Nations as much as possible. Overall I learned a lot and was inspired to make a change, and none of this would have been possible without Mahroo, or without out the Multicultural Youth Program.



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

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights