Purpose: Young Delegates on Mission

What is your purpose in life? There are those who know their purpose and there are those who are still in the process of discovering theirs. Whether you know or don’t know yet, there’s a reason why you’re still alive and God continues to shine the sun, the moon, the stars and the rain in your life.

IMG_20160812_195527On a Boat Party in NYC with fellow Delegates (August 12th, 2016).

I am among those people who God has blessed with a great purpose and I continue to see his blessings upon my life and those I meet along the journey. The past one week has been a life changing and amazing opportunity. It was an honor and very humbling when I was invited by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF) to take part in the Social Venture Development Seminar at the Fairleigh Dickson University (FDU) in Madison, New Jersey. This Seminar took place between August 6th and 9th and I was among one of the invited Mentors. I landed at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) around 17:00 on August 5th and it was a long and tiring journey from LGA to FDU.

Before leaving Edmonton I had searched on Google Maps for direction and had screenshot how to get to FDU. I asked how much it will cost to get a private bus from LGA and I was told it will cost $92USD. I didn’t have such money and so I decided to rely on the screenshots I took because I didn’t have internet and got in a public bus. I was in the bus for over 30 minutes and kept asking the Driver how long to the stop (W 125 St/Malcolm X BI) where I was to get off. I then entered a train from there to 34 Street Penn Station which was well over 20 minutes and when I reached Penn Station, I bought a ticket to Madison and took a New Jersey bus to Convent Station which was well over an hour.

I got off Convent and asked a gentleman for direction to FDU and I started walking. Now it was around 21:30 and it had gotten darker. The same gentleman saw me walking and he was driving in same direction so he offered to give me a ride (about 5min) to reach my final destination. Instead of paying $92, I had only spent about $15 and I thank God I arrived safely. It was a blessing to learn, share and help fellow young people from around the world in all of my capacities and knowledge when it comes to Social Ventures and young people working together for the betterment of humanity. It was great to connect with my two respective groups from China and also support other groups, including one which was the winner of the Competition at FDU!! Hearing about what young people are doing and hope to continue doing in their communities was very inspiring.

IMG_20160812_092959Inside the United Nations (August 12th).

We arrived in New York City the afternoon of August 9th and we were hosted at PACE University. It was great to meet many more young delegates who were checking in and preparing for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations (August 10th-12th). In the past years I have been honored to attend the Youth Assembly and every time it is an amazing experience and humbling to network with passionate young leaders and share about our respective work in our communities and what we are passionate about. The opening ceremony started around 10 am in the General Assembly Hall and the workshops after lunch in different Conference Rooms. The workshops were based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which ran until before the closing ceremony on 12th. From End Poverty, Quality Education, Peace & Justice, Partnership, Gender Equality and Life on Land among others, all the workshops were amazing and truly inspiring. It was great to see young people fully engaged in the workshop of their choice and fully participating. I believe the world is in safe hands if young people continue to play their parts and maybe when 2030 comes around, we might see great results in respect to SDGs.

The most powerful, inspiring and most memorable moment came on August 12th at the closing ceremony of Youth Assembly in the General Assembly Hall. Monique Coleman was the Keynote Speaker and she delivered a speech with great passion. Tears were coming from her eyes and at one point I stood and started clapping when others followed along. Monique is a Global Youth Advocate and had the opportunity to visit over 20 countries in 6 months few years ago. She encouraged the delegates to continue working together and help others. Her speech really lined perfectly with International Youth Day with a message to not only care about ourselves but reach out to humanity.

Thank you to all the speakers, delegates and Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF) and everyone who came together to make this year’s Summer Youth Assembly at the United Nations possible. Also, thanks to FAF for inviting me to be part of this amazing experience. Thanks to fellow Mentors for a great time together and congratulations to the whole team for a great job well done! The FAF Interns were awesome!!!

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