by Raina Kadavil
When we go through our daily high school lives in the U.S., it quickly becomes clear that those of us who faithfully empathize with and believe in changing the world for good are a rare breed.
We were able to forget this for a few days, however, as the Youth Assembly brought over 500 empowered youth from around the world together in the United Nations--the cradle of positive change--to share ideas, learn from one another, and be inspired to take action.
The Youth Assembly at the United Nations broke barriers and harnessed our differences in background and ideology to help us grow from one another--something that we need more of in our globalizing world.
As an intern helping to run the conference, it was so exciting to see young people like me from across the world who also share my goals and to learn that the thing that makes us tick is the same: a thirst to make the world a better place.
The Youth Assembly gave us the skills to do this: it opened our eyes to where change needs to happen--in the plight of women, in the changing climate, in religious divides--and also gave us the tools to make this happen, by teaching us the dynamics of effective business, technology, and social networking.
Panelists like the esteemed Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, were role models to us, and others, like Sam Vaghar and Julia Myers, served as true success stories of our generation.
What I took away from the experience was a huge smile that still lasts after several days, at the thought that I was able to be a part of what made such an enormous movement possible, and several dozen Facebook pages that represent several dozen incredible individuals who are already doing such wonderful things--from empowering girls in Sierra Leone, to writing books about their experiences in the Congo--and whom I hope to see at my side on the frontlines of change, someday soon.
I believe that all ages can learn from those two days...it was our chance to show the world that youth are not to be underestimated, just as much as it was our chance to be empowered by those that have gone before us and paved the path of change.
The Youth Assembly was not the first time that I visited the United Nations, but it was the first time that I felt truly united with a group of young people like me who, together, radiated the kind of dynamic energy that will change the world.
Raina Kadavil is a senior at White Plains High School. She has run the Global Ambassadors organization for 7 years, serves as an intern for Friendship Ambassadors Foundation and UNA-USA, and is publishing her first novel, "The Voice of Thunder," in 2015.