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WHS junior Ryan Volin (left) and senior Tyler Timm learned last week that they have been chosen, along with peers around the world, to attend the Winter 2016 Youth Assembly at the United Nations, which will be held Feb. 17-18 at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Two WHS students join forces with 193 countries of U.N. to resolve global problems

Timm & Volin selected to attend Feb. 17-18 Winter 2016 Youth Assembly @ United Nations Headquarters in NYC

It seems the world generally relies on the wisdom of adults for solutions to its complex global problems. A brief review of history reveals, however, that sometimes they really mess it up!

From fighting world hunger and poverty, to providing a quality education for all, to conservation and preservation of our world and its resources, sometimes the best solutions evolve from the ideas of those asked least often: our youth . . . even the ones from small towns surrounded by cornfields!

At least one organization recognizes the value of this input, and has developed a forum for youth around the world to actively share these ideas, and participate in discussions with world leaders with the unified goal of resolving some of these issues.

The United Nations will hold its Winter 2016 Youth Assembly February 17-18, 2016 at its Headquarters in New York City. Select teens from around the globe have been selected/invited to attend, including two of Wahoo’s own.

After learning of the program from WHS Spanish Instructor Cass Didier, WHS senior Tyler Timm and junior Ryan Volin decided to submit applications, and last week found out that they both have been selected to attend this prestigious event!

The Youth Assembly at the United Nations (YA@UN) is not a “sit quietly, observe, and learn” kind of experience. While in New York City, Timm and Volin will actively participate in international discussions, offering their input and ideas that may well have a global impact!

“I urge you to see your time (at the YA) as a call to action,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated to past participants. “The world needs each and every one of you to do your part in transforming our world and building a more sustainable and equitable future for all.”

YA@UN is a unique platform created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional youth, UN high officials and staff, the private sector, and civil society.

On September 25, 2015, 193 member states adopted a new set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's). Each of the 17 goals (highlighted below) has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. With great strides made over the past 15 years, today’s youth generation is placed in a crucial moment in history to help turn these goals into reality.

The agenda for the 2016 Winter YA@UN will revolve around the theme of “Transforming Our World: The Role of Youth in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).” Activities will include renowned speakers, plenary sessions, workshops lead by expert facilitators, round table discussions, networking, new social venture competitions, MDG-related skills building and campaign introductions.

For an educator, of course, there is no better feeling than watching your students achieve success, and the news of their selection certainly brightened Mrs. Didier's day!

“I am extremely proud of Tyler and Ryan for taking advantage of this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity! This is the pinnacle of gaining experience in international relations. I hope they inspire other youths to take action and better our world,” Didier said.

For Timm, this is not his first rodeo, so to speak. Timm recently returned from the 2015 Youth Time Global Forum, which was held Oct. 28-31 in Barcelona, Spain. Also, this past summer, Timm was selected for the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows (BFTF) Summer Institute at Purdue University and Washington, D.C.

"I'm incredibly happy to embark on the adventure of another great conference," Timm stated. "I know without my past accomplishments at BFTF and Youth Time, this wouldn't be possible."

Timm added that he is also excited that he gets to share this experience with Volin, his good friend.

For Volin, the 2016 Winter YA@UN will be his first international experience.

"I am very excited to go to New York in a few months to attend this amazing assembly and learn what I can do as a youth leader," Volin commented. "I would not be able to take part in this amazing opportunity without the help of my good friend Tyler (Timm)."

Congratulations Tyler and Ryan on being chosen for this impressive honor!

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The goals of the Youth Assembly:

  1. Provide access to and information about the work, successes and current challenges of the United Nations;
  2. Promote increased youth participation in UN programs, agencies and NGO affiliates;
  3. Strengthen the role of youth in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  4. Connect committed youth with opportunities, mentors, colleagues, and new associates;
  5. Recognize the artistic and diplomatic efforts of young people already involved in development and humanitarian initiatives; and
  6. Promote renewal of a commitment to serve and respect this most important international institution.

17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Source: YA@UN website, http://www.faf.org/main/youthassembly/overview-annual/

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Two WHS students join forces with 193 countries of U.N. to resolve global problems

Gwynne Gonnerman
Blair,NEExecutive Director India Transformed!

Nov 24, 2015

As a graduate of Wahoo High and currently the Director of an international nonprofit based in India, I am thrilled to see this amazing opportunity encouraged by Wahoo Public Schools. Thank you for equipping our leaders! Congratulations Tyler & Ryan!
Cherie Johnsoncheriejohnson@esu2.orgWPHSteacher

Nov 29, 2015

I am so proud of these young men! Great job on your essays!
Elaine Gonnerman

Dec 08, 2015

Congratulations on your personal goals to be involved in this forum. 2nd, the interest and maturity you have shown to be involved show a positive interest in everyone's future and an input to be involved. Thank you for caring enough to apply and be accepted in this area, that can help make the future better for humanity and the world.