Friday, August 13, 2010


This was my first time attending the Youth Assembly at the UN and I was blown away. The amount of passion and energy, dedication and motivation radiating from hundreds of young activists from around the globe was powerful to say the least. Everywhere I turned I heard intense and focused conversations on local initiatives and follow-up plans to the Youth Assembly.

In my conversations with Asians, Africans, Europeans, Latin Americans, and Americans, (nobody from Antarctica attended the event), I got the sense that everyone wanted more more more! More local and national representation, more events and conferences, more social networking, more UN involvement. This is a very positive sign. It means young people are becoming increasingly concerned with their stake in the world at large.

IYC therefore has a big role to play now and in the future. Organization and mobilization are essential to global youth movements. Many individuals with ambitious agendas are not nearly as affective as a large group of ambitious individuals with common goals and a plan of action. IYC gained a lot of positive exposure through this year’s Youth Assembly and with time more people are beginning to recognize its value. Our list of achievements and partners continues to grow, as does our social media following and participation on a daily basis.

On top of all this, the IYC team is great to work with. Driven and intelligent of course, but also outgoing and socially savvy- two qualities equally as important in growing an organization. Our networking event on Day 2 of the Youth Assembly was a success because IYC members are able to engage with all kinds of people on many different levels. Plus those KIND bars were delicious.

I look forward to an even more successful Youth Assembly at the UN next year. And I look forward to changing the world with IYC.


I was fortunate enough to sit in on an IYC fundraising workshop on Day 2 of the Youth Assembly. Jamie Ansorge and Arthur Leopold talked to youth delegates about their personal fundraising experiences- Jamie with a New York congresswoman and Arthur on President Obama’s campaign trail.

One of the take-home messages of the workshop was persistence. As Jamie said, “The more no’s you get, the more yeses you will get.” In other words, the more people you meet, the more people you try to engage and bring into the fold, the more chances you will have to raise money. And in some cases it only takes one donor, whether private, non-profit, or governmental.

Jamie and Arthur went on to highlight that raising money is not only about persistence; it’s also about innovation. Anyone can ask for money, but to create a fundraiser that entertains people, provides PR benefits and positive exposure, and makes people feel good about their contributions… now that’s how it’s done.

After Jamie and Arthur discussed their fundraising experiences, youth delegates took turns sharing their own successes and failures in fundraising. It was a focused and motivated group of youth delegates, and the workshop left everyone feeling more empowered and with a stronger sense of purpose.

Social Media Workshop at the 2010 Youth Assembly

On Day 2 of the Youth Assembly, Saba Loftus, Erica Gregg, and I held a 45-minute workshop on the power of social media. The room was almost at full capacity as we engaged youth participants in a discussion on how to advance a project or organization through online networking.

Facebook, Twitter, and blogging are three very important online media tools you can use to connect with like-minded people all over the world. By creating a socio-professional profile on the Internet, you can link up with individuals and organizations working on similar projects and that have similar goals, thus enhancing your global reach and supplementing your efforts.
Specifically, we discussed the importance of leaving a social media footprint. Joining Facebook groups, following people and organizations on Twitter and commenting on blogs are the best ways to start networking online. Once you have begun to interact with others who are making a difference, you can post your own content and integrate it with those you have reached out to online. It is important to constantly put up fresh content to keep people interested, and it is equally as important to continue seeking out people with similar interests and goals as you build your own social media network.

The workshop was also important in highlighting that different countries have different predominant social media websites. For example, more South Koreans may use CyWorld while over 500 million people are currently on Facebook.

After the workshop, numerous youth delegates approached me about how to personally advance their own causes. One delegate from China was very enthusiastic about starting a grassroots social justice club at his high school, but social media is a problem for him because the government prohibits the use of Facebook and Twitter.
This is a perfect example of where IYC can help youth activists get around specific and challenging problems. We arranged for the delegate to create a profile on our website –, where he will have access to IYC opportunities and support. He is eager to speak to IYC members about how he can promote his club both online and in his community and IYC will be there to help.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Youth Assembly - Day 2 (morning)

It's the second day of the Youth Assembly at the UN and everything is going quite well. IYC Co-founder Jamie Ansorge spoke about the essence of networking both on the ground and on the internet earlier this morning at the UN.
He was joined by a panel of distinguished speakers from the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF), Fairleigh-Dickinson University, and more.

The mood was light and fun and there was a tangible energy as over 100 youth engaged in a discussion about ethics, fundraising, and global outreach. I think at one point there was also a debate over how to handle situations with ugly babies...

Photos and videos of this panel discussion will be posted on this blog and IYC Facebook soon!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


The second IYC planning committee meeting was held yesterday, June 17th, 2010 in Manhattan.

Many IYC members were in attendance along with Patrick Sciarratta, Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation (FAF), the non-profit that will co-run the Youth Assembly at the UN with us.

The planning meeting was primarily centered on fleshing out details for each day of the Youth Assembly. It looks like we’re going to host a skill-building day where attendees can learn how to write grants, proposals, build partnerships and much more. We will also host a networking event and hold numerous workshops in the spirit of youth action and empowerment.

We also discussed reaching out to NGOs working on the MDGs for a campaign night where youth delegates can engage more broadly in helping to achieve IYC’s goals.

The meeting follows a conference call between Working Group Coordinators, who have done an excellent job of getting Youth Assembly planning and organization underway.

Join us for our weekly meeting Friday June 18th!!! - Contact Asha Castleberry.

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IYC Mission

The International Youth Council (IYC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded at the UN Youth Assembly in 2007 dedicated to giving young people across the world both collective voice and a mechanism to support global sustainable development.

Our mission is to bring together and support young leaders from around the world in pursuit of partnership, progress, and the Millennium Development Goals. We seek to empower the next generation of leaders by providing them with the training, resources, and opportunities they need to succeed. We also advocate for an official body representative of the youth within the United Nations power structure.

We hope to inspire the youth of the world to act and give them the tools to make a difference.

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