Mar. 10—For Adelphi University student Sarah Delannoy of Bel Air, becoming a United Nations Youth Delegate was a natural step.
Before attending Adelphi for a master's in social work, she received her bachelor's in psychology from St. John's University in New York in 2015, where she became deeply interested in the well-being of communities.
"When I started to do service work out in Camden, New Jersey, and the Peace Corps," said Delannoy, "I became passionate about enhancing human well-being overall and that made me go back into school to work for my master's."
She heard about the opportunity to become a United Nations Youth Delegate during her final exams. She did not know what would come of it, but she took a leap of faith.
"I applied right after I took a final exam and the application popped up on my portal," said Delannoy. "So, I just applied — no one referred me — and then I got the congratulations, maybe a week or two later."
United Nations Youth Delegates promotei national youth policies, national youth coordinating mechanisms and national youth programs of action as integral parts of social and economic development, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs of Youth.
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The opportunity was a perfect match for Delannoy.
"When I received the acceptance, I called my parents because they were very influential in my desire to give back by doing community service," said Delannoy. "Specifically, my dad always taught me to do good growing up, and because they're both first-generation college students themselves from New York, they were very happy when I shared the news."
As a youth delegate, she wants to focus on education, one of the dozens of issues that delegates choose to advocate for.
"I'm really passionate about quality education," said Delannoy. "I definitely want to address a need for micro-level practice direct programming specifically for children, and currently I work with college students to promote literacy and language programs to Head Start preschools. I want to see a better connection between micro-level practice at the programming level, all the way up to the federal with macro-level policies."
The program aligns with her study in social work. For Social Work Month, Delannoy is talking with other social work students about individuals who have disabilities, and how to provide them with more effective services before hosting a social work event at the United Nations in April.
Delannoy will serve as a United Nations Youth Delegate representing Adelphi from February to December 2023 or January 2024.
"I hope to learn more from a diverse set of youth leaders," said Delannoy. "Since I'm in New York, I get to meet with the youth leaders of the civil society once a month to talk about systems of oppression, like poverty, racism, human trafficking as an example. So, I just hope to learn more about strategies on how we can take those actionable steps to change and ultimately, I just want to become a better leader. I think time for leadership is super crucial, and for delivering results for quality education, economic growth is huge."