Being part of the NEXUS Global Youth Summit this year was such an incredible opportunity. I was thrilled to meet a lot of amazing people who are making change in the world through their different organizations and innovations. The summit started off on a very energetic and high note with Clemencia Vargas leading us through a dance as she did a presentation on her organization Vive Bailando. I love to dance and so this made me feel like I was in the right place and it was going to be a wonderful week. Later on, other young speakers came on stage and everyone’s story was life changing and inspiring as I listened to Komal Ahmad, Laurence Marshbaum, beautiful young Bisman Deu, brave Yeonmi Park and Maxwell Loughan the last speaker of the day, an incredible 13 year old who is the President and Founder of Loughan Labs. Max redefined the impossible and reminded us that impossible is just a word but everything is possible. Our Atlas Corps CEO Scott Beale also had the opportunity to talk about Atlas Corps which made people more aware of it and had a number of people walk to us after to ask more about Atlas Corps.
The poster of the sustainable development goals was the first thing that caught my attention as we arrived at the United Nations. I have taken keen interest in the SDGs and currently carrying out a research that’s assessing the terms the SDGs are using to refer to the most vulnerable and how the SDGs ensure that no-one is left behind. I was excited to listen to the discussion on “Youth Advancing the Global Goals”. It was interesting to hear Lucie Gareton talk about the 18th goal because the SDGs just have 17 goals. She then explained that the 18th goal is the invisible goal that covers the status of young people and hence the reason the UN is engaging young people and children in advocating for the SDGs. There are three main initiatives that the UN is taking, and the first is the youth index, this helps to track the progress and implementation of the SDGs. They also have a website that tracks young people getting involved in the tracking of the goals within their locality. The UN has also come up with an initiative called the young leaders for SDGs. This discussion was very relatable to my line of work and my passion in getting more involved in the SDGs and I am glad that the UN has taken these initiatives that will give young people like me to be more proactive in advancing the SDGs.
I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to a talented young lady called Steph Cordes. Steph is the Vice Chair of the Cordes Foundation and works alongside her parents, Ron & Marty Cordes, to drive the vision and work of their family foundation. Stephanie currently leads the Foundation’s philanthropic and investment portfolio in women and girls empowerment, specifically looking at market-based innovations in supply chain, fashion, and women’s entrepreneurship generally. http://www.mcon.events/highlights/mcon2015/scordes/
I totally related with her on her love for fashion and was more inspired to learn that while she’s working for her family foundation; she still brings her passion for fashion into the Foundation, and made me start thinking about how I can incorporate my love for fashion into the social issues I care about. I could see the pride and joy on her parents faces Marty and Ron as they listened to their daughter speak on the panel. I later talked to Marty and told her how wonderful Steph was.
It was a successful summit and I am glad to have been a part of it, I can boldly say I am happy to be part of the NEXUS community, and now with the knowledge and networks from NEXUS, it’s time for me to put the puzzles together in walking into the path that God has designed for me.