Taking a Break from Finals: The NYC Regional Club Meet-up

December 30, 2016

High school and university clubs from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey gathered together to network, share ideas, and learn more about UNICEF!

Since September, students have been busy on their campuses with various activities such as: recruiting new students to their clubs; fundraising for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF; planning Snow Flake balls; and organizing their student bodies during Hurricane Matthew and for the Syrian refugee crisis! During these months students also expressed to UNICEF fellows a need for a regional meet-up. 

As a result, on December 3, UNICEF USA hosted 17 students from Horace Mann, University of Bridgeport, Science Park High School, Baruch College, St. John’s University, Edison High School, and High School of Fashion Industries.

Before diving into the essence of UNICEF’s work, students were introduced to each other with a musical balloons ice-breaker. Students passed around the balloon as music played in the background. Once the music stopped, students were asked to: pop the balloon, state their name and school, then give a response to the question that was located inside the balloon. One Student remarked:

“I loved that everyone here was passionate about UNICEF and their own involvement in their clubs... I felt connected with others who were interested in helping out others as well”

Acquainted with one another, the day led into a UNICEF 101 presentation. UNICEF club members serve as the point individuals on campus, and are often asked questions about the efforts of UNICEF. Equipping students to feel comfortable, the session not only provided a background of UNICEF’s role, history, and programs, but also allowed students to raise any questions.

After this session, students stepped into the role of UNICEF fieldworkers as they divided into teams for the outbreak simulation http://outbreak.unicefusa.org/. What would you do if there was a measles outbreak in a local community? The exercise provides helpful insight on scenarios UNICEF workers face on the ground. Together, students strategized and answered the activity questions. 

“The presentation was really informative! I loved the immunization simulation”

Students then broke out into a small group session to share events they held throughout the year. Returning from the small groups, students had an opportunity to share how they support UNICEF on their own campuses. Tiffany Chi shared a refugee and migration resource she created with the group. She brought it with her to demonstrated how the activity workers.

The day concluded with contact information exchange, pictures, and new bonds.