Peace Islands Institute launched the Young Peace Ambassadors Academy (YPAA), which is a peace education program for the middle and high school students in the New York City. The aim of this 6-weeks intense leadership program is to provide a space platform for the students, who are interested in the social science, to learn about the global issues and United Nations.
The Young Peace Ambassadors Program had a very successful start by receiving full endorsement from Chancellor Carmen Farina who was thrilled to know that the NGO has decided to inspire students from not only private sector but opened the program to all of the students in all of the 5 boroughs. This is an extraordinary opportunity for all of the students who reside in New York. In addition, State of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, The City of New York Mayor Bill de Bilasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Congresswoman Grace Meng, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have also sent their endorsements and best wishes to all of the graduates.
The recognition from the highest leaders in New York and is a clear indicator of the priceless value of the program.In April 2015, Peace Islands Institute launched the Young Peace Ambassadors Academy (YPAA), which is a peace education program for the middle and high school students in the New York City. The aim of this 6-weeks intense leadership program is to provide a space platform for the students, who are interested in the social science, to learn about the global issues and United Nations.
The Academy consists of a series of structured weekly workshops with a different topic discussed every session from the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda. Our presenters are experts in their field who provided background information on the selected topics to create awareness about the global issues. Workshop sessions are followed by the presentation of the guest speakers, who have years of experience and knowledge. We hosted several distinguished UN diplomats and leaders of the prominent civil-society organizations. These guest speakers shared the best practices of their institutions in building sustainable peace and inclusive societies for all.
YPAA 2015 had 30 students from 12 different high-school students including the five boroughs of the NYC. In the first week of the Academy, students have chosen a UN Member State from a raffle to represent the nation throughout the sessions.
Becoming the Permanent Representatives of their Member States, students have conducted a detailed research about the priorities of their countries in the United Nations. Every week, Young Peace Ambassadors shared insights about the particular topic of the workshop. In this respect, learning and practicing the diplomatic speaking, improving the self-confidence and group working skills were some of the remarkable assets that students gained by attending the Academy.
On 23 May 2015, Peace Islands Institute organized the Graduation Ceremony for the Young Peace Ambassadors of the Academy. The program started with the welcome speech of Mr. Mehmet Kilic, who is the Director of the Center for Global Affairs at PII. Mr. Kilic`s remarks was followed by the keynote addresses of Ms. Rabia Madhi, Diplomat from UN Office of Information & Communications Technology, Mrs. Monica Bajraktarevic, Manhattan Representative of the Citywide Council on High Schools and Mr. Patrick Browne, who is the Assistant Principle of the Aviation High-School.
Following the keynote remarks, the floor was our Young Peace Ambassadors` who have addressed the audience by briefing about the nations that they represent in the General Assembly of the YPAA. Ms. Marie Claudine, who is a Rwanda Genocide Survivor and the President of the “Why Do I Exist?” Foundation recited her own poem “Peace”. The ceremony ended with Mr. Kilic and Ms. Madhi giving the PII Certificate of Completion and Public Service Certificate given by the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. After the family picture with the students, parents, and our guest speakers, lunch was served with the different cuisines brought by the students.
Topics of the Young Peace Ambassadors Academy
- Week 1: United Nations & Global Citizenship
- Week 2: Human Rights
- Week 3: Peace & Conflict Resolution
- Week 4: Women Empowerment & Girls Education
- Week 5: Eradication of Poverty & Hunger
- Week 6: Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change