With Back-to-School season just around the corner, UNICEF USA is ready for another year of unity, another year of grassroots movements, and, most importantly, another year to advocate for every child! Though the worldwide pandemic has greatly impacted so many of our supporters and the children we serve, we believe that our greatest triumphs emerge during times of hardship, and we will continue to champion for young people across the globe and their rights to survive and thrive.
Here to support the UNICEF UNITE Clubs Program this upcoming school year is the 2020-2021 UNICEF USA National Council! The National Council is a team of highly-motivated high school and college students that serves not only the UNICEF UNITE program but also the thousands of students and young people across the U.S. who educate, advocate, fundraise, and build community on behalf of UNICEF USA each and every day. Among its many roles, National Council Members (NCMs) serve as spokespeople for UNICEF USA, provide strategic feedback on UNICEF USA strategies and initiatives, support clubs and UNITE Program as a whole, and work on projects based on committees–recruitment, retention, leadership development, interactive media and communications, and internal communications.
This year, even amidst a global pandemic, we’re raising the bar and aiming high–and we have the best team to reach it! In fact, you might see some familiar faces; we have three former Youth Representatives and five former or returning National Council Members on the team this year, as well as many other incredibly talented and outstanding UNICEF supporters! Here are the things you won’t find on-paper about the NCMs:
A former NCM and Youth Representative, Bouchra has years of experience under her belt in the fields of non-profit work, research, medicine, and public health - and she's not stopping there! Bouchra hopes to one day become a doctor and earn a PhD so she can make a greater impact in the world of medicine. Get you a gal who can do both!
When she isn't dedicating her time to helping UNICEF USA and the UN DPI, Courtney loves spending time with her cousins and, of course, grilling meals that Gordon Ramsay himself would envy! Did we mention that she goes to the farmer's market every Tuesday? Her ingredients are as fresh as her ideas!
Cynthia is one of the most exuberant, kindest, and passionate people you will ever meet. As a senior National Council member, Global Council member, former Youth Representative, and all-around Advocacy whiz, she is not only an incredible leader but also a great mentor to all who joined the council this year and to UNICEF club leaders all throughout the country.
As a young, successful social entrepreneur who grew up in both the US and India, Devishi is a real-life Hannah Montana who lives the best of both worlds... while helping the one we live in by advocating for sustainability! In her free time, when she's not saving the planet, you can catch her sketching images.
Egette knows that mental health is just as crucial to wellbeing as anything else, and that's why she founded a non-profit called Safe Haven, which aims to implement mental health with high school immigrants and refugees and break mental health stigma. As the oldest of five siblings, she's been a fierce leader from the start, and she hopes to continue leading in the field of mental health internationally in the future!
A fierce advocate for people with disabilities, Ishan is extremely passionate about humanitarian problems. He has not only founded his own non-profit but also leads in his community and across the nation to help those experiencing homelessness. When he isn't working to help others, Ishan is playing tennis or basketball and participating in FBLA and DECA.
Israel wants to make a genuine change in this world. His ultimate goal is to one day become a public defender in the criminal justice system, and he's dedicated to not only his four younger siblings (and five pets!) but also those within his community. Israel also served as an essential worker in this pandemic, embodying the true meaning of leadership!
Since Jivana is a future international human rights lawyer, it's no wonder that her life revolves around all-things UNICEF! From working as a Youth Representative to engaging high school club members, she is making her mark on the world one school at a time. Outside of UNICEF USA, Jivana enjoys spending time with her dog, older sisters, and friends.
Justin is a social media whiz - and he uses his skills to help others! Everything he does involves selflessness; from UNICEF to packing medicine to send over to Cambodia to mentoring younger students, Justin dedicates his time to making sure those around him thrive. He is also a pro at calculus; you can catch him tutoring his classmates in his free time!
Omar's passion for UNICEF is shaped by his background as a person of Syrian descent. In addition, he is actively involved in public health-related organizations and hopes to one day become a medical doctor. As a former Youth Representative, he's a pro at repping for young people, but he has a different personal rep goal this year: to bench press 225 for reps! Omar is truly a person who embodies constant progression personally and professionally.
Ruthann has been a powerhouse for diversity and representation since her first day on the council, and she's committed to expanding her work this year! Her commitments to research and inclusion are highly admirable - and contagious! She also lives an iconic life; just check out the UNICEF Clubs TikTok to see her Dancing with the Stars-worthy moves!
Debate, political campaigns, a youth council- Shikha can do it all! Plus, in between her work with UNICEF USA and in government-related activities, Shikha is culturally and religiously active in the South Indian community! A young leader with a lot of experience, Shikha is excited to build upon the CCC and help UNICEF UNITE Club members gain leadership skills.
You may know her as a brilliant molecular biology researcher, multimedia politics and news writer, or talented graphic designer, but you may not know that Shubhi listens to indie music all the time! She has a deep interest in policy and advocacy, and she hopes to one day become a medical doctor.
Picture the sweetest, most wholesome, and kind-hearted person you know. Did you picture Sumaya? Because we totally did! Sumaya leads by example and will one day be an invaluable leader in our public health system. Until then, you can catch her interning in the Minnesota Department of Health and making a difference in her community.
Throughout the rest of the year, you’ll get a chance to meet and engage with members of our National Council. The National Council Members are here to support UNICEF supporters across the nation, and they can’t wait to begin. Need to make your voice heard, have a question, or just want to keep in touch? Follow the National Council at @unicefclubs on Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok, or send an email to email@example.com.
Thanks for all of the work you do to put children first - we can't wait for another successful year!