Continuing the City’s commitment to young New Yorkers, Commissioner Penny Abeywardena of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs today launched the 6th cohort of the NYC Junior Ambassadors program by announcing this year’s participants. Representing all five boroughs of New York City, the diverse group of more than 500 seventh-grade students and educators from 15 schools will engage virtually with the United Nations and explore ways to tackle some of the world’s most persistent challenges.
This marks the first fully virtual cohort in the program’s history.
“While COVID-19 has compelled us to host the NYC Junior Ambassadors program virtually this year, we remain as dedicated as ever to ensuring that our youth are connected to a global community of change makers using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to take action in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor’s Office for International Affairs Commissioner Penny Abeywardena. “We are thrilled to kick off this sixth year of Junior Ambassadors with students from 15 outstanding schools from every borough in New York City. We know that by connecting them with resources in our City agencies and our incredible international community, they are becoming the leaders we need them to be.”
Through the NYC Junior Ambassadors program, young New Yorkers are encouraged to think of themselves as global citizens and to help create a better, fairer world while learning about the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals which seek to address poverty, climate change and inequality.
Together with their educators, each class will incorporate the SDGs into their classroom curriculum. In addition, students will receive virtual classroom visits from senior UN diplomats and representatives from NYC agencies, and a virtual tour of the UN headquarters in Manhattan. International Affairs hosted its first Educator Orientation today.
Since its beginning, participants in the NYC Junior Ambassadors program have welcomed UN Ambassadors representing 36 countries to their classrooms. Students also have participated in special global events, such as moderating an event convened by the President of the UN General Assembly for World Children’s Day, speaking on a panel with the UN Secretary-General, and participating in the first World Ocean Conference.
Last year’s cohort successfully transitioned mid-year from an in-person program to a virtual one due to COVID-19. Approximately 3,000 students and educators from more than 80 classrooms and after-school programs have participated in the NYC Junior Ambassadors program since its launch in 2015.
The Mayor’s Office for International Affairs partners with the Department of Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development, the United Nations, and the United Nations Foundation to provide this unique opportunity to middle school students across the city.
“In these challenging times, it is important that we all work together to build a better future — and what better place to start fostering the spirit of collaboration and global citizenship than the classroom. The United Nations is delighted to partner again with the City of New York and the UN Foundation in supporting and inspiring our sixth cohort of Junior Ambassadors, as well as their teachers and families,” said Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the United Nations.
The NYC Junior Ambassadors program will run through June 2021. For updates on the program, please visit nyc.gov/nycja and follow the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
NYC Junior Ambassadors 2021
- Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy, Brooklyn
- Liberty Avenue Middle School, Brooklyn
- MS 442: School for Innovation, Brooklyn
- MS 577: Conselyea Preparatory School, Brooklyn
- Icahn Charter School 4, Bronx
- MS 29: The Melrose School, Bronx
- The Mott Hall School, Manhattan
- The Clinton School, Manhattan
- Al-Ihsan Academy, Queens
- IS 78Q, Queens
- IS 204: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Queens
- MS 217: Robert Van Wyck, Queens
- MS 226: Virgil I. Grissiom, Queens
- Village Academy Middle School, Queens
- Michael J. Petrides, Staten Island
About the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
The New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations and encourage collaboration between the international community and New York City’s agencies and local neighborhoods. The Office is focused on sharing New York City’s policies and best practices globally, as well as responding to requests from foreign governments, the United Nations, and the U.S. Department of State. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on our website.