UNA-USA Premieres Documentary on First-Ever U.S. Youth Observer at the United Nations

May 16, 2013

NEW YORK — Brooke Loughrin was a dedicated and diligent student at Boston College in Fall 2012 when she received a call that would change her life for the next year and beyond. “YO!”, a new and spirited documentary short produced by the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), tells the story of Brooke’s selection to be the first-ever U.S. Youth Observer at the United Nations, and demonstrates how youth voices are actively involved in the UN’s work. The film will premiere today during the Opening Ceremonies of UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference in UN General Assembly Hall.

“YO!’ flips all of the assumptions about a lack of youth participation at the UN on its head. It shows how the UN is directly engaging youth, and they are directly in policy and program discussions.” said UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden. “Millennials will watch “YO!” and immediately see how they can participate in a global conversation and make a difference at the UN and on the issues the world faces.”

UNA-USA and the U.S. Department of State worked together to develop and run the Youth Observer program. More than 730 people applied to be the U.S. Youth Observer; 47 U.S. states were represented, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Student applicants hailed from 236 different colleges and universities around the country. The program gave Loughrin a chance to see the United Nations in action, in person, during the UN General Assembly and other high-profile UN and UN-related events including the meeting of the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee and high-level meetings on polio and human rights. She also spoke at the 2012 Social Good Summit and during UNA-USA’s 2013 Members’ Day at the UN.

“People from all fields in our generation are going to be working together and collaborating together on these issues; I think there’s unlimited possibilities in the capacity of [the Youth Observer’s] role,” said Loughrin in the film.

The International Model UN Conference welcomes nearly 2,500 high school students from 23 countries to New York to simulate the work of the UN in committees with their peers from schools across the globe. “YO!” is created for online viewing, and is available at www.unausa.org/usyouth and http://youtu.be/9v1lSXure9c.  For questions about the Youth Observer program or to schedule an interview, please contact Joe Catapano at jcatapano@unausa.org. More information on UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms Model UN is available at www.unausa.org/globalclassrooms

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Media Contact
Joseph Catapano


The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years, UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at www.unausa.org

About Global Classrooms

The United Nations Association of the USA’s Global Classrooms Model UN is an educational program that engages public middle school and high school students in the United States and abroad in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Global Classrooms is the only comprehensive program of study and instruction based on Model UN, the largest Model UN network both inside and outside the United States, and the only Model UN provider focused on underserved populations. Impacting more than 25,000 students and teachers annually, Global Classrooms is implemented as a stand-alone curriculum, co-curricular, and as an after school program. For more information, visit www.unausa.org/globalclassrooms