Ask the Candidates Share Your Vision for Children

Vision for Children Letter

On October 22, UNICEF USA's National Youth Council sent letters to each of the presidential candidates asking them to share their vision for children in the United States. This vision can be expressed in any way and cover any topics related to the welfare of children. The National Youth Council is looking for candidates to consider the needs and desires of young people as they develop platforms that could one day be the basis of U.S. policy. Here is the letter:


As members of the UNICEF USA National Youth Council, we lead more than 40,000 U.S. high school and college students who advocate for children. Though some of us are not yet eligible to vote, all of us will be most affected by the next President’s decisions. We want a Nation that ensures all children have a secure start in life, and opportunities to grow, learn, and contribute as they become the next generation of adults.

We request that you publicly share your vision for children in the United States on or before World Children’s Day, November 20th, 2019

It is a fitting request: On World Children’s Day, leaders are asked to initiate and promote actions that improve the welfare of children. Young people are encouraged to join those efforts and get involved in public discussions that affect their lives and their futures.

We recognize that the United States has unmatched wealth and opportunity. However, we also know from our own experience that today’s children face a host of threats, old and new. Children still struggle with inadequate education, poor nutrition, poverty, inequality, and discrimination.

We also face new dangers: growing economic and political divides, environmental change and extreme weather, exposure to violence, rising levels of mental illness among young people, and abuse of digital technologies that put children at risk of exploitation and abuse.

If you would like youth input in developing your vision, we welcome this opportunity. For additional resources, here are links to the UNICEF Executive Director’s recent open letter to the world’s children, as well as UNICEF’s newly published State of the World’s Children 2019.

We look forward to learning about your vision for children.


In partnership,

UNICEF USA National Youth Council

Ayman Bolad - Carmel High School Carmel, IN

Cynthia Yue -The George Washington University Washington, DC

Elise Phung - Plano East Senior High School Richardson, TX

Emily Deng - Mayo High School Rochester, MN

Esther Kim - University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Henry Goldberg - Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN

Kathryn Hemmer - New Trier Township High School Glencoe, IL

Kyle King - Cypress Bay High School Weston, FL

Matthew Grady - South Mecklenburg High School Charlotte, NC

Omer Baker - University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

Ruthann Tesfaye - Virginia Commonwealth University Burke, VA

Sara Ketabi - Glen A. Wilson High School Hacienda Heights, CA

Sumaya Alfath - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Fridley, MN

UNICEF USA’s National Youth Council is a group of high school and college students selected from UNICEF clubs in more than 900 high schools and colleges around the country. The Council helps lead efforts to educate and engage youth around the country about issues affecting children, and UNICEF’s global efforts to save and improve children’s lives. UNICEF USA is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children, supporting UNICEF’s work around the world through fundraising, advocacy, and awareness-raising in the United States.

Additional resources: 

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