How did you feel when you heard you were successful in being chosen to go to New York?
I was very, very, very, very, very happy and it felt – it’s hard to say – it was a great relief to know that I was chosen, and the stress from the interviews and everything was over and it started me thinking what’s ahead with the project with Hoda and New York with Zuzana my fellow Ambassador. This was the first step and there’s more to come. I also felt bad for the people who weren’t chosen. It was very emotional. Now knowing I had been chosen – I felt satisfied that I had worked for something and achieved it. There was also the childish excitement of wanting to tell family and friends and my parents too.
How did your parents react?
They were very happy and at the same time they were very proud. They always encouraged me and they knew how much it meant to me, so when I told them they were very happy for me. We still keep talking about it because it’s just wonderful!
What advice would you have for other students who might think next year to apply to be a student ambassador?
I think the main advice I would give is don’t block yourself by thinking you would seem egotistical. Don’t be afraid to say what you are good at. It’s not selfish or egotistical to put yourself forward. Everyone has good qualities so don’t be afraid of telling people what you are good at. You also need to really like the project you are developing. You can’t think about being successful if you are not really committed to your project; you can’t put yourself forward and show what you can do when you don’t really believe in it. Also keep a healthy attitude towards everyone. It’s about putting yourself up, not putting other people down.
What does the opportunity mean to you?
I’ve been fascinated by the UN for a long time. I follow the WTO, human rights, the Security Council. So getting a chance to go to that building means a massive amount. The UN has been there my whole life and a lot of things happen around the world because of it. It’s just a massive opportunity to go somewhere I’ve dreamed about but I thought I wouldn’t have this chance until I was maybe 40! Now I have the opportunity not just to visit a big organization I admire but be a part of it.
It’s the beginning of what I want to be – it’s the first step to achieving what I want to do.
To speak at the UN – it’s impossible to describe what an honour it is. There’s 7 billion people on this planet! The UN represents those 7 billion and to have the opportunity to have my one voice influence that, all those countries. The number of people I admire who have spoken there – Obama spoke to the UN! It’s an honour to think I might speak in the same building. The people we will be speaking to have the job I want to have and the fact that my voice will be heard by the representatives of governments around the world…… wow!
It shows that every little step you do in school – you never know where it will take you. Little steps take you far – I understand that now. That at 17 I could speak at the UN. If I hadn’t done the things I have done – a lot of participation in plays, school shows, all the time speaking to parents or teachers, the MUN, BISMUN, medium and small projects which showed I could represent the school. Even coming back from Tanzania and speaking about that at the Global Campus Showcase evening – it’s all training, developing skills. I loved it all and through all the years at school you build up your skills and gave me the confidence to step up and believe I could take on the role of a student ambassador.