Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
14 September, 2023

Student Report from the NAE-UNICEF Summit in New York

Over the summer this year I had a great opportunity to attend the NAE-UNICEF summit as a school representative, working as a summit reporter. This was a massive program with more than 100 students from across our family of more than 80 Nord Anglia Education (NAE) schools, representing a huge range of nationalities. While in New York, NAE provided all the attending students with numerous activities/lessons and excursions which was an immersive and inspiring experience.

The focus of the program was to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within our local communities, including our schools. This year was exceptionally important for the SDGs since it was the halfway mark of the goals which hope to be achieved by 2030. Therefore, during the world’s largest lesson, students had time to reflect on the progress made so far for each goal, comparing which aspects have gone well and which need additional attention and focus. By tracking the path of the goals, it allowed students to enlighten their ideas to find possible solutions for the future.

There were many tasks on which students had to work collaboratively, allowing cultures and communities to influence students to observe the problems or solutions via different perspectives. Besides SDG activities, there were opportunities to talk to UNICEF experts and learn about different roles such as a Social Impact Leader. One specifically interesting talk was centred on how to collect data worldwide, and then use appropriate figures to highlight how much progress had been made.

The program ended with a conference where we presented to our students and leaders from NAE, including CEO, Andrew Fitzmaurice; Chief Education Officer, Elise Ecoff; Director of the World’s Largest Lesson, Kinvara Peterson; and UNICEF’s Partnerships Specialist, Jennifer Lee Nieves.

When I first heard that I was selected to attend the summit, I had some self-doubts because I wasn’t very confident with presenting speeches in front of such a large number of people. However, during reflection times between the summit, I realised that everyone was in the same position, no matter how experienced or knowledgeable those people were. So, I really appreciated being given this experience; I’ve learnt to become more open-minded and less averse to risk. I would truly recommend NAIS Pudong students to apply for the UNICEF Summit next year, specifically to those who have a great passion for SDGs and social impact. Lastly, during the Generation Global program of the summit where we learnt about dialogue, debate and discussion, I heard the quote ‘We challenge an idea, not a person’, which I hope is as inspiring and mindful to you as it was to me.

Written by Yeonjin K, Y12.