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Student Leader Named UN Youth Representative


Wantoe T. Wantoe ’22 Joins Department of Global Communication Steering Committee

Youth bring ideas, passion, and innovation along with unique perspectives and experiences to the United Nations. Recently, one of the College’s young leaders and change makers has been selected to serve on the United Nations Department of Global Communications Youth Representatives Steering Committee for 2020-2021: Wantoe T. Wantoe ’22. Not only is he the first Mount student, but he is the first Liberian and one of two Africans appointed to this Committee.

Established in 2009, the Department of Global Communication (DGC)’s Civil Society Youth Representatives Programme serves as an advocacy platform for people ages 18 to 32 working within and/or leading organizations associated with DGC and focused on issues on the U.N. agenda.

To qualify for this role—according to the appointment letter from Hawa Diallo, Chief of the Civil Society Unit of the U.N.’s Department of Global Communications—Wantoe had to be able to demonstrate a proven track record in promoting, developing, and implementing youth activities aligned with the work of the United Nations and be available to participate in and provide input to the work of the said Committee.

The letter continued: “The United Nations recognizes the importance of young people when addressing global challenges and advancing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. In doing so, the Civil Society Unit, Department of Global Communications, is keen to highlight the work and value of the Committee in advancing the role of young people in the global agenda. As we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and strive to find solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we count on your support, innovative perspectives, and solutions to shape our future together.”

In this new role, Wantoe and his fellow committee members will be more involved in shaping the inclusion and promotion of young people’s voices by designing new and existing ways to integrate the visions and talents of younger representatives within the U.N. system—including harnessing grassroot partnerships and national youth-led institutions to promote sustainable progress.

“My ambition is to see a better and more sustainable world with young people as catalysts of social change,” Wantoe said. “There is a need to facilitate young people’s involvement in upholding human rights, climate sustainability, gender equality, and equity of equal opportunities.”

Wantoe credits much of his success to the Mount—from engaging courses and expert professors who have helped to shape his international perspectives to being involved in the College’s Model United Nations, which has afforded him the opportunity to participate in conferences held at Harvard University, Columbia University, and University of Pennsylvania.

“The College has also allowed me to freely express myself through student leadership and with impactful faculty student mentorship,” Wantoe continued. “Being at the Mount has created lasting opportunities for me in redefining my career goals. It has helped me lead global solutions as an undergraduate student—not only on campus and with the Sisters of Charity Federation—but now also with the U.N.”

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.