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DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee

DPI NGO Youth Reps speaking at 66th DPI NGO Conference

  • up to 25 Youth Representatives of NGOs formally associated with DPI
  • aged 18 - 32
  • advise DPI how to engage young people on advocacy and outreach activities related to the work of the UN

Established in 2009, the Department of Public Information’s NGO Youth Representatives Programme serves as an advocacy platform to bring together young people ages 18 to 32 working within and/or leading NGOs or youth organizations that are in association with DPI and focused on issues on the agenda of the United Nations.
Leveraging the high visibility and strong impact of young people at the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea (30 May to 1 June), DPI established the NGO Youth Representative Steering Committee (thereafter referred to as the “Steering Committee”) in August 2016 to channel that momentum towards the strengthening of the Department’s youth platform and programmes.


New DPI NGO Youth Steering Committee Members have been selected for the term of 2018 - 2019! 

 

Who they are

DPI NGO Youth Steering Committee 2018 

Co-Chairs

jadayah_spencerJadayah Spencer
NGO: International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI), USA

Jadayah Spencer is the Executive Director of the International Youth Leadership Institute. She is an advocate for improving access to opportunities that enhance the lives of youth, people of African descent, and indigenous people worldwide.   

A proud IYLI alumna, Jadayah became an IYLI fellow in 2010 and traveled on the 2011 Summer Fellowship Program to Tanzania. She subsequently served in various roles, including being an IYLI volunteer, an IYLI board member, and an IYLI group leader (Brazil SFP 2013).  

She serves on several international and local boards, including her work with the New York City Young Women’s Advisory Council which addresses policy issues that directly affect young women of color in New York City.  

Jadayah started her undergraduate education at the age of 16 as a Deans Scholar at New York University, where she majored in anthropology and double-minored in Social Entrepreneurship and Mandarin Chinese. Jadayah is a born-and-raised Brooklynite, a recipient of several fellowships including Starting Bloc, and has been recognized as one of 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in the NYC Non-Profit Sector by New York Nonprofit Media in 2017. She loves world travel, meaningful conversation, and dissecting rap lyrics.

 

Subhajit_SahaSubhajit Saha
NGO: Dayemi Foundation, Bangladesh

Subhajit Saha is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science and Biochemistry at the City University of New York – Hunter College. In addition, he serves as the NGO Youth Representative to the United Nations DPI for the Dayemi Foundation.

Currently, his latest projects involve serving as a Co-Chair for the Outreach and Publicity Sub-Committee for the Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals. As a member of the Committee, he advises the United Nations Department of Public Information on its engagement of young people working within NGOs and youth-leading organizations focused on the issues of the United Nations’ agenda. As a champion for storytelling through social media, he leads the Social Media Working Group for the DPI NGO Youth Representatives Programme. His team is currently working on a strategy for the Together Campaign (#JoinTogether), which aims to promote safety, dignity, and respect for all refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons.
 
Subhajit has been involved with the United Nations since his junior year of high school. He is an active DPI NGO Youth Representative and has participated in planning the 66th Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea. Subhajit has served as a member in the Youth Sub-Committee and led the Media and Marketing division in the Committee. Continuing the success of DPI/NGO Conference, Subhajit’s latest project involves revamping the Youth Programme at DPI NGO while serving as the Secretary in the DPI NGO Youth Steering Committee to further the communication and advocacy of youth participation at the United Nations. 
 
When Subhajit is outside the United Nations, he loves to read articles from The Economist, brush up on his foreign language skills, and mentor youth to become the leaders of today. 

Secretary

Nishat_Mirza_Voices of BanglaNishat Mirza
NGO: Voices of Bangla, Bangladesh

Nishat Mirza graduated from Boston University School of Medicine, with a Masters in Medical Sciences. Her Master’s thesis in ALS or Lour Gerigh’s disease was a major breakthrough in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and in developing future treatment of ALS. After graduation, she started working in Clinical Epidemiology at Harvard Medical School, recently completing her 2 years project to find the risk factors of a skin infection outbreak.  

Although, all her life she studied to pursue a career in Medicine, she always believed in public service and making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis as an Educator, Leader and Entrepreneur.  She has a decade of experience working with people from various ethnic backgrounds in different socio-economical settings, such as teaching GED to adults in welfare, working with foster care children, and teaching sciences from middle school to college students. At Boston University, she learned to be more Globe Friendly! She started volunteering with Amnesty International, helping to send aids in Syria and traveled to her homeland Bangladesh, for the first time in 12 years to help the children in the slums.  
 
In an effort to speak for those whose voices are buried under poverty, she started working with the children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh since the year 2013. In 2014, she founded her non-profit organization, ‘Voices of Bangla’, A Movement Promoting Leadership Skills in Bangladeshi Youth all Around the World.  In spring 2015, she traveled for 2 months in Turkey and Bangladesh, teaching children about Hand Hygiene. While working there, with the underprivileged children, she realized that her true calling was to work in the field with those who are underserved. Since then she continued to work with children who have been through difficulties in life to dream big and make it happen.  
 
Currently, at Harlem, New York City, she is working with Middle School children in developing STEM curriculum, through hands on activities that will help them understand the great impact of science in the community. She has also started an Empowerment program for Harlem middle school children, so that they can peruse careers in STEM, Law and the Arts with advice and guidance from professionals.   

Members

Steve ChiuSteve Chiu
NGO: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, USA

Steve Chiu is Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation’s Youth Representative at the United Nations. In alignment with Tzu Chi’s work in disaster relief, climate action, education for global citizenship, sustainable development​ and gender equality, Steve works to build relationships, share best practices and develop programs with other organizations to make tangible impacts on the ground, with the mission of alleviating the suffering of those in need. 

 

 

Earlene CruzEarlene Cruz
NGO: Servas, USA

Besides serving as a Servas Youth Representative to the United Nations Department of Public Information, Earlene Cruz is the founder of KitchenConnection.org - a platform that allows lay and professional cooks to host or participate in live, online, and interactive cooking classes that support SDG 2: Zero Hunger. She is a James Beard Scholar Award Winner and has been nominated as one of the special envoys on youth under the UN Secretary General for her work with the Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goal.  She sits on the board of two nonprofits, promoting social entrepreneurship and peace through tourism. 

Earlene completed her Master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Food Studies at the Gallatin school of New York University. Her scholastic research focuses specifically on the power of food to unite and/or divide people. Her passion is for bringing people together, especially through (food) culture and the power that it has to (often) transcend conflict. Her previous work included supporting film and bilingual programs through the French Embassy in New York City. Her personal passion for bilingualism has led her to speak four languages, and is now learning her fifth: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. 

 

Anne DengAnne Deng
NGO: The City College of New York, USA

Born in Beijing and raised in New York, Anne is a daughter of two grand metropolises, inheritor of two grand cultures. She counts both English and Chinese as mother tongues and enjoys reading, writing, and even acting in both languages.

She majored in International Studies, picked up a minor in Anthropology, and completed many credits in the sciences. She is a harmonic blend of the liberal arts, the sciences, and the social sciences. She is a hopeless perfectionist always involved in a hundred million projects at the same time. Anne has been a journalist since junior high school and has picked up a lot of experience in print, radio, TV, and new media. She is always passionate and curious, looking to help out whenever possible. 

 

Alpha Diallo Youth RepAlpha Diallo
NGO: ENDA, Senegal

Alpha Diallo was born and raised in Conakry, Guinea.  As a result, he brings with him an abundance of first-hand experiences. Alpha is currently enrolled at SUNY Old Westbury, where he studies Political Economy & Law. He received an Associate’s degree in Fine Art from Fulton-Montgomery Community College in 2014. 

Since 2011, Diallo has worked with Grow NYC, an initiative that seeks to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers through sustainability.  Alpha is involved in youth education and sales. Alpha is particularly passionate about impacting change in his native Africa, as well as engaging with Africans living in diaspora. He speaks Fulani, Creole, French, and English. He aspires to become a diplomat in the future and cites his motivation as his interaction with UN personnel when studying in Sierra Leone as a child. 

 

Katelyn GranoKatelyn Grano
NGO: Pathways to Peace, USA

Katelyn Grano is a recent graduate of Mater Dei Prep High School in Middletown, New Jersey. Her college plans include attending Marist College of Poughkeepsie, New York in the fall, with a double major in international business and environmental studies. She has a strong background in conflict resolution and transformation as well as in mediation and negotiation. Her training has been through Mr. George Anthony (Pathways to Peace). Additionally, she has a diplomatic training background in Conflict Resolution as a Weapon Against Poverty, through Columbia Law School. Her efforts have mainly been focused on the improvement of education and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. She is pursuing her career in the field of international business and environmental studies, working towards attending law school after college. 

Aside from her work with the United Nations, Katelyn is highly involved with the environment and its sustainability while also aiming to resolve global issues and create peaceful encounters and dialogues.  

 

Juan_Pablo_Celis GarciaJuan Pablo Celis Garcia
NGO: United Nations Association of New York, USA

Juan Pablo Celis currently holds the position of Youth Representative of the United Nations Association of New York. He has participated in humanitarian, financial, and entrepreneurship projects around the world. Mr. Celis served as Co-Chair of the Youth Subcommittee for the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference on Education for Global Citizenship. Mr. Celis is a former adviser for the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations on youth-related issues. He worked with educational institutions in Italy and Egypt to design innovative approaches to teaching and has coordinated promotion and fundraising programs for NGOs in Brazil and Argentina. In his native country, Colombia, he was a leader for the global student organization, AIESEC. In this position, he managed a development exchange program and trained young leaders for the global market. Mr. Celis is an active member of the Youth Steering Committee of the UN DPI NGO Youth Representatives Programme. He is passionate about social, cultural, and humanitarian affairs, including advocacy of youth issues and gender equality.  

 

Shermin LuoXiaomeng (Shermin) Luo
NGO: Global Youth Mentorship Initiative, USA

Shermin is a NGO Youth Representative to UN DPI and a newly elected member of the NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee to the Department of Public Information. She has extensive experience in social entrepreneurship having co-founded a an education nonprofit Global Youth Mentorship Initiative (GYMI), which is dedicated to bridging educational disparities by providing underprivileged students with mentorship focused on independent learning, interdisciplinary studies and critical thinking. In addition, Shermin also served as the COO for a social venture Ipromoter Image, which is an AI-powered personal fashion assistant that helps professional women in developing countries dress for success. She was recognized as a rising social entrepreneur by organization such as the Resolution Project, Young Real Leader Prize, and Impact Squared.

Shermin graduated with a B.S. in Operations Research - Engineering Management System from Columbia University, and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Aishwarya_NarasimhadevaraAishwarya Narasimhadevara
NGO: Medical Women’s International Association, Canada

Aishwarya Narasimhadevara is the youth representative to the Medical Women’s International Association, an NGO based in Vancouver, Canada, dedicated to the empowerment in the field of medicine. She is an individual wishing to make a difference in society like others. She is also involved in youth advocacy related projects and interested in the importance of Education in the field of International Development. She has been involved with various non-government organizations working in the field of education, the environment, and culture. She has a Master’s in International Development from the University of Kent-Brussels School of International Studies in Brussels, Belgium. Travelling is a passion of hers and she enjoys seeing new places. She also enjoys learning, taking photos, and practicing karate. 
 

 

Sharon Pierre-LouisSharon Pierre-Louis
NGO: Environment Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), USA

In addition to practical experiences, Sharon uses her educational background in Sociology, Pre-Law, and Global Studies to empower, and advocate for, individuals. She conducted research on dozens of topics including education, and presented her findings nationally and internationally. For years, she has mentored, tutored, advised, supervised, and assisted hundreds of diverse youth. She has initiated the creation of a policy at her alma mater which enabled/s students to join academic and residential programs. She currently teaches high school students with a goal of improving their grades. She aspires to become a Diplomat and a Lawyer in the future. She is determined, multilingual, enjoys learning new languages, and composes creative writing pieces-mainly on social issues.

Sharon was a rapporteur for the Intergenerational Dialogues on the SDGs in 2017. She currently serves as a Co-chair for the Exhibits Sub-committee for the 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference. 

 

Saphira RameshfarSaphira Rameshfar
NGO: Baha'i International Community’s UN Office in New York, USA 

Saphira Rameshfar is a Representative of the Baha'i International Community’s UN Office in New York. Saphira currently serves on the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York, as Secretary of the Working Group on Girls to the UN and on the DPI NGO Youth Steering Committee to the United Nations Department of Public of Information. In 2016, Saphira was the Cochair of the Conference Planning Youth Sub-committee to the 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea.




 

 

Madison RossMadison Ross
NGO: Mercado Global, USA

Madison Ross, an Californian born but internationally raised youth, is a member of DPI’s Youth Steering Committee and focuses on Responsible Consumption and Production in Business and Fashion Industry. Ross is an International Business student at LIM College with an interest in social change and cultural awareness, seeking opportunities in corporate social responsibility, economic development, and international relations. Madison is also a Youth Representative for fashion non-profit Mercado Global which is headquartered in Guatemala, working with female artisans and promoting Global Goals 1 and 4. Working with UN DPI/NGO, Madison worked as a team member in organizing last year's UN Fashion Show. Such briefing hosted panelists to discuss the challenges in applying sustainability in the fashion industry and showcasing sustainable designers from all over the world.

Madison is also a proud Co-Chair of the Youth Sub-Committee for the 67th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. Overall, she’s a lover of learning and helping businesses better impact the communities around them.

 

Johanna SchwarzJohanna Schwarz
NGO: DMUN e.V., Germany

Johanna Schwarz is a Youth Representative to the German NGO DMUN e.V., which she led as Vice President and Head of NGO Liaison between 2015 and 2017 and where she currently serves as Special Advisor on UN-related issues. Next to her work with DMUN, Johanna is a passionate advocate for youth participation, quality education, gender equality, leadership development and climate change and frequently speaks on the youth perspective on the SDGs at national and international conferences. She is involved in various think-tanks and non-governmental organizations and recently got elected as one of 25 members to participate in a think-tank on youth participation in Europe, initiated by the European Commission. 

Johanna graduated with a Master's in Environmental Policy and Regulation from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in London, United Kingdom in 2017 and hopes to do her part in tackling climate change by working in the field of renewable energies, innovation management and sustainability consulting. 

 

Yang ShiYang Shi
NGO: Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), USA

Yang Shi graduated from Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris. He majored in Development, Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, and specialized in UN Studies. Yang Shi is a passionate gamer and tries to use gaming in his work on international affairs. 




 

 

Rosleny UbinasRosleny Ubiñas
NGO: National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States​

Rosleny joined the United Nations Office in August 2017. One of her roles is to explore ways youth can contribute to the betterment of society by working with non-governmental organizations and other youth advocates on issues such as racial inequality, advancement of women, and the role of religion in society. Her previous work experience includes adolescent counseling along with development for academic and non-profit organizations. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Africana Studies from Franklin & Marshall College.

Rosleny was part of the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women Conference Planning Committee by serving on the Artisan Fair sub-committee and Reception sub-committee. Rosleny is the Youth Cochair of the Conference Planning Social Media Sub-committee to the 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference in New York, NY. 

 

Aniqah ZowniAniqah Zowmi
NGO: Rotary International, USA

Aniqah Zowmi has a passion for youth engagement at all levels of government and civic organization. She is a Member of the Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), through which she provides youth perspectives to support CCUNESCO’s mandate. Her involvement with Rotary includes her participation in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program in Rotary District 7090, as a speaker at the Rotary International Annual UN Day in November 2016, and currently as the Charter Vice-President of the Rotaract E-Club of Social Innovators.

Aniqah most recently completed a term as Lead Author for the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education and Peace for Sustainable Development’s publication, #YouthWagingPeace: Youth-Led Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education, which was launched at the UNESCO Annual General Meeting in Paris, France, in November 2017. Zowmi is pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, to be completed in December 2018.

 

NGO Youth Advisors 

Ruth_BrinkleyRuth Brinkley
DPI NGO Youth Representative Steering Committee Member (2016 - 2017) | NGO: New Future Foundation, INC, USA

Ruth Brinkley, also known as Hip Hop artist Infinite Wiz, was the Youth Representative for New Future Foundation, INC a NGO founded by Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Community Mayor of Harlem. She is an active community activist and has been a part of the Hip Hop industry since an early age, as her father was signed to Sugar Hill Records in the 70's. Her message is both positive and inspirational geared toward youth of today.

 

 

Calisher PerryCalisher Perry
DPI NGO Youth Representative Steering Committee Member (2016 - 2017) | NGO: Olof Palme Peace Foundation International, Ghana

Calisher Perry is a product of Corpus Christi College, graduating in Business from Trinidad & Tobago. Having migrated to the United States of America, she participated in costume designing in the Arts and dedicated most of her time teaching preschoolers Arts & Craft. She then showed aspirations in doing administrative work for developing campaigns such as Rise & Shine Community Services Inc. and Releasing Aging People in Prison (RAPP). Calisher has maintained the organization’s work professionally, engaging in major community outreach work from New York State to Washington DC. Currently, she is continuing her professionalism at the United Nations serving as a liaison between the Olof Palme Peace Foundation International and the United Nations where she is involved with putting together a repertoire to combat women & children globally who face domestic violence and bring a sense of security of life after domestic violence.  
 
Having served as one of the Co-chairs for the Youth Sub-Committee for the UN DPI/NGO Conference in Korea June 2016, Calisher continues to engage youth on global issues and is currently serving on the Steering Committee for the UNDPI Youth Representatives Programme. She plans on collaborating with community members surrounding topics of Domestic Violence, Peace and Education on Sustainable Development Goals through arts & craft while moving forward in fighting for women's rights and children's rights and creating peaceful, livable communities. 

Outside of the United Nations, Calisher is engaged in her family setting surrounded by her three sons and a supportive husband. She has also engaged in teachings of the Sustainable Development goals to kids and youth through her organization, Cali's Costume Designs Inc. Calisher is always finding new ways of involving family and committee members in the work of the UN. 

Members of the DPI NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee can be contacted via email address undpingo(at)un.org with an indication of the name of the addressee.