By Angela Bratt
Marketing Major, Honors College
The Honors College’s full-time program coordinator, Anna Cofrancesco, and program manager, Luke Amarago, recently attended a United Nations Conference. This conference is held twice a year at the UN headquarters and is sponsored by the Friendship Ambassador Association, a partner of the UN. The theme of the conference this past winter session focused on innovation and collaboration for a sustainable world. To be eligible and attend this conference, Anna and Luke had to undergo an extremely selective application process. This process included answering a series in-depth questions such as “How do you serve the community?”, “What contributions have you made in your community?”, “What contributions have you made in your career field?”, “What kinds of experiences have you had?”, “What are your future aspirations?” and so forth. They waited a few weeks for final selects to be made, and Anna and Luke were both included as finalists.
The conference was held over the course of three days in February and consisted of a number of different sessions for attendants. The conference’s agenda and sessions revolved around education on poverty, development of ideas, careers at the UN, issues on water management and other ways to address and begin resolving world problems. The overall goal of the conference was to empower, encourage and prepare youth in assisting and answering some big questions in today’s world. There were many speakers who attended the conference and represented various branches of the UN and other world poverty organizations.
For Anna, this was an exciting, honorable and eye-opening experience as her future aspirations are to work for the UN and assist in solving the major atrocity of human trafficking. She desires to be a part of a platform to create new initiatives to assist others and to eradicate crime. Anna sees that there is a desperate need to help others who are caught in the sex trafficking industry. The conference opened new horizons of what a delegation is about and how international individuals can come together and collaborate. She was able to learn from others and about their cultures and world perspectives, gain a new global perspective and so much more. Anna recommends that individuals should most definitely attend if given the opportunity, especially if the theme is something that you are passionate about. She stated, “It was a great place to learn from others because there were youths from around the world that also attended this conference.” Anna shared that some people asked questions that even stumped the leaders of the conference.
“Overall, it was a great place to network and meet others, as well as challenge your viewpoints and beliefs to develop into more of a well-rounded person,” tells Anna. There was one session in particular that stuck with Anna, which focused on poverty and its many effects on the world. She said it was held in a tiny room that was so packed, people had to sit on the floor. They were shown a PowerPoint presentation and there was time for questions and answers. However, they also participated in an activity that taught the delegates how it felt to be impoverished. It was called the “Poverty Walk” and had a significant impact on delegates who attended.
Overall, it was an honor to attend the UN Conference for both Luke and Anna. They gained invaluable insight to some of the world’s major issues and were able to interact with individuals and professionals from all over the world. The Honors College is proud to be working alongside of them and is excited to implement what they’ve learned from their experience to GCU’s awareness and service opportunities.
If you would like to join other motivated and ambitious students in serving and learning together, learn more about Grand Canyon University’s Honors College by visiting our website or clicking the Request More Information button on this page.