Spotlight: Ashlee Yearwood

When Ashlee Yearwood began her freshman semester at Molloy College, she never thought she would be participating in meetings for the United Nations. That all changed when Professor McGann, the head of the Honors Program, asked her to participate in the United Nations Youth Representative Program.

The program is through a partnership with local justice, and one Molloy student each semester is selected. "They try to get young people involved in discussions about world problems and issues," Ashlee stated.

"I was asked to do it at the end of last semester, so this semester is my first time actually going there and participating." Her role, which includes attending briefing meetings on different local and global issues, allows her to sit on in meetings in New York City. "I can choose which ones I want to attend based off of my interests, opinions and ideas."

These meetings allow Ashlee to actively participate in conversations with other members of the UN, and her influence, as she asserts, is important because "young people have a unique perspective on things."

Following the meetings, Ashlee can create a write-up that has the opportunity to be published in the UN's monthly newsletter. "The most rewarding thing to me has been to share my opinions. I'm a history concentration in the Education program, so I'm really interested in how the world works and  politics, so it's really rewarding to share my opinions and to share everything I've been studying all my life."

This unique opportunity has thrust Ashlee into the global community with a wider lens, but having such a responsibility definitely comes with difficulties i. As a student, Ashlee still has to deal with prioritizing classes and schoolwork, and with her added role at the UN, Ashlee admits that she runs into issues with her scheduling.

"Having days crossed off for meetings is pretty stressful, and figuring out how I'm going to get the work and make up those days is pretty hard." The travel that is required for the position, along with the rigors of a college semester, makes balancing her active life a tremendously difficult task at times.  

However, Ashlee's perseverance is what makes her such a profound candidate for this position. She is an outstandingly driven individual that takes on the full burden of her position while succeeding as a student at Molloy. Her belief that it is the younger generation's duty to be "more involved and more aware of what's going on" displays the disposition she has on her position in the UN, and the resolve she carries into her everyday life.

While discussing issues such as Sustainable Development Goals, which are international goals that the UN wants to solve by 2030, Ashlee states that it's "really important for youth to be involved, because in 2030 it will not be the adults in the UN working to achieve these goals, it's going to be the youth today."

As a dedicated student and a significant member of the UN, Ashlee goes above and beyond the expectations of a college undergraduate and stands as a resounding example of the future she wishes to see.