First-Year Student Accepts Role as Global Ambassador
Even before completing a full month of classes during her first semester at St. Lawrence University, Amanda Barreto Salgueiro ’23 was selected to meet with a delegation of United Nations on issues of greatest concerns to university students.
“It was a great honor to be selected and a great beginning of a dialog on what matters to young people,” she said.
As a graduate of United World Colleges (UWC) Adriatic in Italy, Salgueiro was invited to attend an event, titled "Expectations of Young Adults from Across the Globe Towards the UN," on Sept. 9 in New York City. She was also selected as one of 10 UWC students representing eight different countries to meet with the UN delegation. Salgueiro even had the opportunity to meet President of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa.
“There were a lot of ambassadors there,” said Salgueiro, who is originally from Brazil. “I was the youngest person there, and I felt it necessary to talk specifically about education and climate change. It was a little intimidating to speak in front of the representative from Brazil given everything that is going on (in the Amazon) today.”
Before attending the summit, Salgueiro created her own a poll at of St. Lawrence students in her First-Year Program and her residence hall, asking if they were familiar with the UN and where they get their information from about the organization. She used the information to inform her visit with the UN delegation.
“Thirty-five percent of people who responded said they did not feel informed about the UN,” she said. “I believe that this is because many schools do not have the resources necessary to teach students about what the UN is and does. Therefore, young people are not educated about it’s role.”
She also believes that the media doesn’t necessarily portray the UN in an objective manner often making Russia and China seem resistant to other members of the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
“Given the influence of social media and what people are calling ‘fake news’ it’s important for the UN to see what the expectations of young people are for the UN and how to communicate closer to the ground through educational,” she said. “That’s the only way to take the lead to inform and make the UN relevant to young people today.”
In 2018, St. Lawrence University received Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. Nearly 60 international students currently enrolled at St. Lawrence attended UWC schools.
St. Lawrence’s Class of 2023 includes more than 60 international and dual-citizen students, representing 36 countries.