Meet The Delegates

Afghanistan

Zakia Zalmai

Bio

Zakia Zalmai, Senior Student. Zakia Zalmai comes from Nangarhar, Afghanistan, and graduated from Bibi Hawa Girls High School. She joined Kardan University and got a diploma in the English language. She worked as a trainer with Civil Society Development Center Organization, she used to train trainees to advocate the charter of Elimination of Violence Against Women and Gender Equality which finally approved by Afghan parliament. She is currently a senior student at the American University of Afghanistan and the president of Professional Women Networking Club at AUAF. She plans to pursue a major in Bachelor of Bussiness Administration with a minor in English Literature. She is a member of debate and basketball club too. After graduation, Zakia plans to apply for Fullbright scholarship and attend MBA abroad Plus lunch her own Business to help Afghan women and children in a way.

African Union

Love Nyaaba

Bio

My name is Love Nyaaba, 1st born of four siblings and the only girl. I was born in the southern part of Ghana where I had my basic education and then to Tamale in the Northern Region for my secondary education. I am currently studying Integrated Community Development at the University for Development Studies in the Upper West Region of Ghana. In between secondary and tertiary education, I volunteered and also worked on a number of projects which were all geared towards human development, especially gender equality. I am deliberate about personal development and would stop at nothing to reach my fullest potential and evolve into my best self.

Australia

Justine Landis-Hanley

Bio

I am an award-winning journalist, gender equality activist, and final-year media and politics student at the University of Sydney. I currently work as a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald. Before that served as the editor of Honi Soit, my nation’s most prestigious student newspaper, where I led groundbreaking investigations into sexual assault at college. As a result of my work, Australia’s former Sex Discrimination Commissioner led a formal inquiry into the campus culture and I was invited to assist with the Human Rights Commission’s national survey into sexual assault and harassment at my university. I spent the summer as a Global Voices scholar to the UN CSW62, for which my research identified and made policy recommendations to overcome the social barriers rural Australian women face in accessing sexual health care. I am currently working with my University’s Deputy VC to bring Harvard Universities women in politics training program to our students.

Argentina

Antonela Calloni

Bio

I am a girl who was born in a city in the inside of the country. As a child, I was curious and asked my mother about philosophical and scientific questions. I grew up reading encyclopedias from the age of four and watching documentaries about space and the evolution of man. I participated in: United Nations Models obtaining first distinctions, Mathematical Olympiads, workshops, competitions and all social and intellectual activity that will be presented to me. At school, I organized workshops and training for other students who wanted to learn things outside of our academic education, such as international politics and oratory to prepare them for the UNM. I have also participated in varied sports: tennis, basketball, swimming, dances and even tai-chi. I assisted 10 years to an English academy and 4 years I learned French and Italian. I made a trip to France when I was 15 because I wanted to meet people from other countries and other places and also learn about other cultures. And I made several courses about oratory and technologies. I am currently studying Systems Engineering.

Brazil

Fernanda Pereira

Bio

I am Fernanda and I am Law student at the University of Brasi­lia. Since Law dialogues a lot with politics, I believe it is an indispensable tool for women’s emancipation. And, for this to happen, the rise of women in power spaces is crucial. I am very committed to gender issues since my high school when I heard about feminism for the first time. Since then, I have been joining projects engaged in this cause. Nowadays I participate in Escola de Appa, a project to fight porn revenge and online violence against girls, besides teaching them how to create mobile apps. Moreover, I joined “Vez e voz”, a project to warn of trafficking in persons through workshops at public schools located in marginalized neighborhoods in Brasilia. My biggest dream is to join public service to elaborate laws and policies to empower even more women.

Canada

Ambareen-Rose Velji

Bio

My name is Ambareen-Rose and I’m a third-year kinesiology student at the University of Toronto. I am also an athlete, a wedding photographer, and an advocate for being physically active. I volunteer as a research assistant studying issues surrounding women’s health and am also a firm believer in involvement within the community. Some of my proudest accomplishments are: being recognized with the Dean Student Leadership Award (2018), the Lieutenant Governor General Award for Voluntarism (2015), being a Top 40 prospect for the Women’s Team Canada U-19 Floorball Team (2016), and attending the #1 ranked University in Canada (2015-2019).

China

Zhilin Xiao

Bio

Born and raised in mainland China, I am now a final student at the University of Hong Kong, pursuing a Bachelor degree in Business Administrative and Global Studies, an incoming trainee for the International Committee of Red Cross. When I was 17, I made a ten-year promise to try my best and figure out what I can do to make this world a better place. For the past four years, I exchange studied and visited four different universities â Peking University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai, Columbia University in NewYork, and the University of Geneva; accomplished three internships — intern in Chicago Mayor’s Office, Capital Research Firm and McKinsey Consulting company; and founded three student organizations/initiatives — Change Makers Network(CMN), Hult Prize at HKU, and Nepal Earthquake Relief. I have always been passionate about Gender Equality, which is also the first theme we change-makers worked on in CMN.

European Union

Diana Voutyrakou

Bio

I am an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student at the National Technical University of Athens. My studies and research interests are focused on the fields of “Robotics” and “Biomedical Engineering” and I already have my first scientific publication. In addition, I carry several awards from National and International Robotics Competitions, as well as an Olympic Distinction. At the moment, I am working as an Educational Robotics instructor of school teams, participating in national and international robotic contests, which require knowledge of physics, mathematics, and programming principles. Moreover, I am the founder and general manager of Unique Minds, a non-profit (NPO) whose purpose is to assist students and young adults to identify and follow their ideal academic path. Thus I have been awarded twice as Greek Women of the Year between 18-23 years old and I have also been selected to represent Greece in Sparknews Campaign: “Women in Businesses for Good”.

France

Eugénie Colonna d’Istria

Bio

Eugénie is a third-year student in PPE in Durham University, UK. She has been involved with many student societies in Durham and has been elected as part of the executive committee of Durham PPE Society for two consecutive years. She started a HeForShe student society, as a support of the feminist movement launched by the UNWomen in 2014. The main goal of the society is to raise awareness for gender equality through open discussions and debates around campus, and building a HeForShe community in Durham. Thanks to her studies in the UK and to various internships and trips around the globe, Eugénie has accumulated friends from a wide variety of countries and likes to keep in touch with them regularly. Eugénie’s specific interest in her friends’ cultural background pushed her to learn languages like Spanish and Arabic. Eugénie also likes to spend time with her friends and family in France.

First Nations

Teagyn Vallevand

Bio

áyįnzhi Aatagwéix’i ùye

Hello, my name is Teagyn Vallevand, I am from Kwanlin Dun First Nation and belong to the Ganaxteidi Raven clan. My Tlingit name is Aatagwéix’i. My home is in Whitehorse, Yukon. I am a youth leader in my community trying to create positive change and inspire other youth to take on more active roles within their communities. I am a recipient winner of the national Samara ‘Everyday Political Citizen’ Award for 2017 and was nominated to Cando’s 2017 National Youth Panel.

In September 2016, I co-founded a small business called Youth for Lateral Kindness, with another Kwanlin Dun youth and friend, Aurora Hardy. Through our business, we offer youth lateral violence workshops and blanket exercises to the communities within the Yukon. I also sit on the Youth Advisory Council for my nation of Kwanlin Dun, the board for Skookum Jim Friendship Centre as Youth Rep, and the Advisory Committee’s for Our Voices – Yukon Emerging Leaders, which are all aimed at improving the well-being of indigenous youth. I firmly believe that if you work hard for your community, your community will work hard for you.

Germany

Lena Hoffmann

Bio

I grew up in Croatia, Serbia, and Israel where my parents worked as journalists. During this time I visited International Schools and learned English at an early age. I moved to Berlin (Germany) when I was ten and graduated from the Nelson Mandela School in 2016. During my gap year, I traveled through Latin America to improve my Spanish skills and discovered Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and Cuba. I had the opportunity to intern with several human rights organizations like Reporters Without Borders, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Yugoslav Committee for Human Rights in the past years. Since September 2017, I study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Vrije University in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and am part of the UNICEF student team.

India

Harnidh Kaur

Bio

I am a poet, policy analyst, raging feminist, and conversation curator. With two books under my belt and a large book-deal taking shape, I’ve used words to not just question, but to empower the women around me. I work in sanitation policy, and I’ve found that behavior change comes not from one-sided instructions. It comes from conversation. I aim to use the power of creativity and context to create safe spaces for women where they can actualize their own stakeholdership. With academic backgrounds in History (undergraduate degree) and an MA in Public Policy, I find myself uniquely positioned to help facilitate this transformation. In my spare time, I write a weekly opinion column, and freelance as a communications transformer for NGOs to help build their strategic communications ability. I firmly believe that poetry cannot change the world- but it can change people. They change the world.

Indonesia

Kezia Alaia

Bio

Kezia Alaia is Indonesia’s emerging writer and poet. Her book Bicara Besar (2016) was published in the same year when she won Third Place in her campus’ Most Outstanding Student Award. She participated in national and international Model United Nations conferences, and her academic essays won competitions in top Indonesian universities. Concerned about digital inclusivity, she wrote a paper and organized projects on inclusive digital literacy for children in urban slums.

She hosts creative writing events, collaborating with local artists to promote the inclusion of women in literary scenes and provide mentorship to girls who aspire to have a professional writing career. She writes magazine columns on women’s empowerment.

Kezia was an intern for the Executive Office of the President of Indonesia, helping government projects benefitting youth and women. Recently, she completed another internship for the Boston Consulting Group.

Currently, she is taking acting classes while writing her upcoming book.

Italy

Sara Tanan

Bio

Sara Tanan was born in Locri, Italy, 22 years ago. Then she moved to Forlì to study International and Diplomatic sciences at the University of Bologne. During her bachelor’s years in Forlì, she co-founded and then became Head of a local section of Young Muslims of Italy (Giovani Musulmani d’Italia), she was the member of the board of a university students association named AlterAzione and writer for the University of Bologne Press ‘’Schegge’’. She has nominated the head of the workshop commission in the latest national event of the Young Muslims of Italy in March 2018. This year, Sara co-founded one of the two first Muslim Students Association in Italy, based in Bologne. In her free time, Sara loves to go walking at the local park or reading a nice Victorian Age book. She also loves taking part in social events as well as organize them.

Japan

Emily Okabe

Bio

Born and raised by Japanese-immigrant parents in the United States of America, Emily Okabe grew up having a special identity that allowed her to have multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Although not fully Japanese or fully American, she takes pride in her 2 cultures and cherishes her family roots. She currently resides in Tokyo, Japan, where she pursues law and international law at Soka University of Japan. As an intern working at the Human Rights Watch of Japan, Emily considers herself a human rights advocate, always willing to fight against corruption and human rights violations. Always keeping her favorite quote, “Go for Broke” in her heart, Emily has an unfaltering determination to never give up and is not afraid of taking risks and making mistakes. She is resolved to use her life in her purpose and mission to create the ripple necessary for the absolute happiness of all human-kind.

Korea

Sohee Yang

Bio

Sohee Yang is a young passionate activist who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Global Korea Studies and Public Policy from Sogang University, Korea. Sohee was awarded the Korean Presidential Medal by the Korea Young Talented Award in 2013, Youth Hero Prize in 2017, and is also a national scholar. Sohee’s work experience includes an internship at the Asia Economy Community Forum (2014) and the Secretariat at World Knowledge Forum (2015). She is also the founder and director at Global Korea Studies Forum (2015-16). In addition to being a national representative and finalist at the MIT Global Startup Competition (2016), a youth representative at UN DPI NGO Conference (2016), a youth delegate of Korea to UN General Assembly and head delegate of APEC summit (2016), a representative of Korea to UN Youth, Peace and Security Consultation (2017). She has actively contributed to improving the gender equality and reducing the educational gap and in Korea by participating in volunteer programs and organizing various projects at both national and international levels. She is interested in advocating for the SDGs, especially on human development and women empowerment, and looks forward to sharing valuable ideas with other passionate female leaders at Girls20 2018.

MENA

Lydia Boubekeur

Bio

I am a 22-year-old process engineering graduate. Currently pursuing masters in environmental engineering, Throughout my life, I’ve dedicated most of my time to educational reform and help underprivileged people in multiple charity events and I’m proud to say that I made a meaningful stride so far. This is what led me to co-found Algerian Black Pearl Radio, a small non-profit and a youth-run Radio that is devoted to allowing youth from different backgrounds to talk on LIVE shows to share their stories such as aggression, violence against children and women, and to discuss social problems to suggest solutions and spread awareness. I am strongly interested in media and communication, and I aspire to be the best Algerian English speaking news reporter.

Mexico

Alejandra Reyes

Bio

Born and raised in Mexico City, Alejandra will graduate from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, with a double-major in Public Policy and Peace Studies this May. In 2017, Alejandra was a Youth Delegate at the UN Youth Assembly. From January to May, Alejandra interned at the U.S National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) for four months. From June to August, Alejandra also served as Global Fellow at the Polaris Project, the NGO that operates the US’ National Human Trafficking Hotline.

In 2016, Alejandra served as team coordinator for a media literacy campaign — i4inclusion — created for a competition launched by Facebook and the U.S Department of Justice. The initiative was one of six winning campaigns to be presented at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. A graduate of United World College-USA, the daughter of a diplomat, Alejandra has lived in Paris, Sao Paulo, Bremen (Germany) and Montezuma, NM.

Pakistan

Urooj Nisar

Bio

Urooj is a young graduate of Economics and a social activist who wants to be a leader that produces more leaders out of the underprivileged groups of her community specifically women. She has been very active socially, engaged in advocating, organizing and volunteering for social causes including women empowerment, active citizenship, leadership, self-development, Life skills-based education, and peace. She plans to start a social enterprise that works for women empowerment through innovation, bridging gap between home-based skilled women and their final customers, to increase their market access and share in the profit. She plans to study her Masters in Developmental Economics and has worked on a research thesis that identifies cultural barriers to women empowerment in her region.

Russia

Anna Akimova

Bio

I was born in the mixed family of 5 children and 4 nationalities. I changed two schools, in the first I did arts, switched to maths and physics in the second one. When I was 13 I lived in Germany for a year on an exchange programme, at 15 I lived for half a year in Montenegro studying in the embassy. I did boxing for 7 years and got serious trauma right before the 11th grade, the same year that I won Russian national Olympiad in History and got into the best Russian university without exams. International relations is my major, and currently, I am on the exchange programme in Lithuania. Three years in a row I get young researcher grant for projects in developing trans-border cooperation between Baltic region countries. Besides, I am an accomplished debater speaking in the finals of Oxford IV, Cambridge IV, Rotterdam Open, Munich Open. In my free time, I do hitchhike and I’ve already been to 60 countries. I also do travel blogging and have an audience of 1K people.

South Africa

Arabela Chilwane

Bio

Arabela was raised by a strong woman who taught her to value herself. She overcame financial constraints to her education by being awarded a full scholarship at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls where she nurtured her potential and came to the full understanding of Ubuntu (African philosophy-I am because we are’). It is in this haven where she realized her duty to serve the world and be to other women what Oprah Winfrey’s gift was to her.

Arabela has a strong desire to become a multifaceted leader and has structured her hobbies (playing the violin, marimba, netball, writing, model united nations debating, etc.) to allow for entrance into multiple fields. She has a passion for social development through innovation and entrepreneurship and is pursuing a chemical engineering degree. Arabela wishes to contribute to a world of rising female leaders who make decisions that will ensure sustainable societies.

South America

Isabela Gomez Martinez

Bio

My purpose in life is service that is why for years I have preferred field work with communities, such as peasant and indigenous. I am driven every day by the sense of justice, and in this way, I focus all my attitudes and activities throughout my daily life.
I am the director of Panorama Javeriano magazine, member of the public law research group POLITES, coordinator of the knowledge management airfield of the A & P Corporation and graduated from the Program for Strengthening Public Function in Latin America of the Botín Foundation 2017. Finally, I am fully aware that walking together we go further and that a good leader is the one who works as a team. In this way, I am convinced that young people united can transform realities.

Turkey

Zeynep Gulin Boncu

Bio

I study Electrical and electronics engineering at METU, one of the best university in Turkey. I was brought up in an engineering family and always took part in engineering projects, which means I always took part in a team while doing projects. I have been participating in global projects for over 10 years. My family and I started them with my Comenius project. We hosted an Italian and 2 Indian girls. I play the piano. It improves my abstract intelligence and creativity. I have been a volunteer in AIESEC for 6 months. I have been approved for a volunteer project in Brazil, about marketing and management. I am learning Portuguese. I can also speak German and Spanish in the intermediate level. My technical and social communication skills are so improved that they make my life more efficient and productive. I also play football., in 3rd league in the national team.

United Kingdom

Francesca Drumm

Bio

I am a young leader, activist, ambassador and changemaker in my community at home in Northern Ireland, at university in Washington DC and on a wider level, representing, advocating and empowering the lives of others, particularly women and girls. I reach higher and further than the common standard and never accept the status quo. Indeed, many of the experiences and opportunities that I have embraced or initiated in the past have instilled in me a hunger to push myself beyond what I have originally thought possible, by traveling beyond my comfort zone and creating meaningful change, both challenging myself and often those around me. Most importantly, this is not for my own personal benefit but in the quest of bettering and inspiring the lives of others. Hence, with high expectations in each of my endeavors, I embody a real sense of global awareness and humanitarian responsibility.

United States

Elizabeth Zalanga

Bio

I am personally guided by the principles of compassion, dedication, justice, and service. My passion for social justice issues and commitment to serving the public interest has been strongly influenced by my time working at local public entities and volunteering with nonprofit organizations. Over the last five years, I have gained experience in public policy advocacy and community engagement through advocating for policies that empower and elevate the voices of those most impacted by disparities, and that explicitly address reducing systemic barriers in access to resources and opportunities. Through my experience, I have become deeply invested in developing solutions to the conditions that lead to creating inequities in society. As an honors student at Saint Paul College, I am currently completing an Associate degree in Social Science/Public Affairs. In the fall of 2018, I will transfer to the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) to complete a bachelor’s degree in global studies with a concentration in environment and sustainable development.