United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Campaign Announces 2017-2018 Teen Advisors

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Twenty-one adolescent girls, from Hong Kong to San Antonio, selected to serve as Teen Advisors to the Girl Up campaign

"Serving as a Teen Advisor completely changed my life by connecting me to amazing girls who are all as passionate about gender equality as I am,” said Lavanya Singh, Girl Up Teen Advisor Co-Chair (2017-2018).

Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign announced its eighth class of Teen Advisors. The announcement comes at the end of a competitive process, with more than 400 applications. The campaign selected 21 teenage girls who share the common goal of supporting girls around the world.

Teen Advisors help lead advocacy, provide feedback on campaign materials, and energize others to take action in support of United Nations programs serving adolescent girls in developing countries. These young leaders come from 14 different U.S. states and four countries – the United States, Mexico, Canada and Hong Kong. They are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school.

“Our Teen Advisors are vital in guiding Girl Up, and personify our ‘by girls, for girls’ model,” said Melissa Kilby, Director of Girl Up. “This Teen Advisor class is the most international and accomplished we’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to see what they will do together to empower each other and girl leaders all over the world.”

Girl Up has quickly become a borderless movement, with nearly half a million supporters and advocates from the U.S. and around the world. The campaign helps adolescent girls develop leadership skills through online engagement, community mobilization, and trainings in advocacy, public speaking, and fundraising. As a result of these efforts, Girl Up has created a generation of current and future girl leaders who have helped raise millions of dollars for United Nations programs; successfully lobbied members of the U.S. Congress to help stop child marriage globally and help ensure that girls around the world are registered at birth; and shown their schools, friends and communities the true power of girls.

“Serving as a Teen Advisor completely changed my life by connecting me to amazing girls who are all as passionate about gender equality as I am,” said Lavanya Singh, Girl Up Teen Advisor Co-Chair (2017-2018). “I will always be grateful for the opportunities this program has given me, whether it's listening to mind-blowing speakers or discussing issues that are close to my heart. I am so excited to lead the 2017-2018 class of Teen Advisors as a Co-Chair and can't wait to see everything that the Teen Advisors will accomplish next.”

The Teen Advisors are young women who apply and are selected on an annual basis to serve for an academic year. When Teen Advisors graduate from the program they continue to lead efforts that drive global change on their college campuses and communities.

The 2017-2018 class of Teen Advisors includes:

Alissa Flores Valverde, 17 years old – Woodbridge, VA

Alexandra Riginos, 16 years old – Rick Hill, SC

Amanda Backal, 16 years old – Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Angelica Almonte, 15 years old – Hewlett, NY

Angela Wei Jiang, 16 years-old – Fitchburg, WI

Chanice Lee, 15 years old – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Connie Wu, 17 years old – Cerritos, CA

Elina Govil, 16 years old – Cincinnati, OH

Fasica Mersha, 17 years old – Lilburn, GA

Jada Young, 14 years old – San Antonio, TX

Khushi Gandhi, 16 years old – Monroe, NJ

Lauren Woodhouse, 16 years old – Portland, OR

Lavanya Singh*, 17 years old – Fremont, CA

Leslie Arroyo, 16 years old – Adelanto, CA

Maitri Khera, 16 years old – Potomac, MD

Mariam Farooq, 16 years old – Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

Mary Di Martino, 15 years old – Silver Spring, MD

Munira Alimire, 16 years old – Rochester, MN

Paola Celeste Alanis Ricardez,16 years old – Metepec, Mexico

Rachel Auslander*, 17 years old – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sawyer Taylor-Arnold, 16 years old – Barnardsville, NC

Visit the Girl Up website to see the bios and videos of the 2017-2018 Teen Advisors.

*Denotes Teen Advisor Co-Chair

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About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: http://www.unfoundation.org.

About Girl Up

Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, supports the empowerment of girls everywhere. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has funded UN programs that promote the health, safety, education, and leadership of girls in developing countries and built a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates – including Girl Up Global Advocates Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Latin American business leader Angélica Fuentes. Our youth leaders, representing more than 1200 Girl Up Clubs in 66 countries, stand up, speak up, and rise up to support the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl. Learn more at GirlUp.org.

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Beth Nervig
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