Investing in young leaders through the Global Development Project Fund

Young people aren’t tomorrow’s leaders —they are today’s leaders.

As each generation advances, young activists take up the helm to bring innovation to solving some of the world’s most challenging issues and to move humanity forward. However, it would be a mistake to think that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow because the youth of today are, in fact, leaders of today. From creative solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change to protecting and advancing human rights here at home and around the world, young people are already showing the world that they are making an impact.

This is why it is so integral to ensure that young people are not only invited but are listened to at decision-making tables, and that they have active roles in  research, discourse,  and action. It is essential to invest in youth-centered programming and education. The UN does this through World Youth Reports such as “Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda,” its Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, Youth Delegate Programme, and more. And the UN isn’t alone – chapters such as UNA Northeastern Pennsylvania recognize this and have made a commitment to youth engagement.

The UNA Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter is in the process of creating a Global Development Project Fund (GDPF) with an endowment of $100,000 to ensure its longevity – and they have already raised over $41,000.

The Fund’s mission is “to support projects in schools and community-based youth organizations that promote global awareness, citizenship and development.”

Through this grant, schools and organizations can apply for funds that will support a proposed project aligning with one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the chapter doesn’t just want to see their plans for the project – they want to see that the project will continue beyond the terms of the grant to have a lasting, sustainable impact.

UNA Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter’s hope is for GDPF to foster youth education, leadership, and service on the SDGs  for local and global issues. UNA-USA encourages all our chapters and individual members to consider how their efforts are including young Americans and find ways to engage, support, and elevate these current (and yes, future) leaders.


Learn more about the UNA Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.