By Thomas Moran | Staff Writer
Fort Worth junior Julieth Reyes represented the Baylor United for UNICEF club at the 2018 UNICEF USA Student Summit this week at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C. Student UNICEF groups from all over the nation participated in the event.
According to the site, UNICEF is an organization that works to promote the rights and wellbeing of disadvantaged women and children in over 190 countries worldwide.
Fort Worth senior Julieth Reyes is a part of the Baylor United for UNICEF club and attended the Student Summit to hear speakers, attend courses and gain further knowledge regarding UNICEF and its goals.
“UNICEF has three pillars: to educate, advocate and fundraise for women and children globally,” Reyes said. “Through those pillars, we focus on all kinds of issues like education, child-protection and women’s rights, which is a very big thing because the safety of children is directly correlated with women since they’re mothers.”
The event spanned from March 10 to March 13 and was open to any UNICEF club members, prospective club members, club alumni and students 13 years or older.
“There are about 500 students that participate,” Reyes said. “The summit itself gathers UNICEF college campus initiatives and high school initiatives … One of the goals of the summit this year was to really partner those so that there is less of a gap between the high school and college clubs. We are up to 800 clubs nationwide and we really want to garner that and get together to hear the goals that UNICEF has and how to become better leaders.”
The event featured an array of speakers and panels for attendees to hear and learn from, Reyes said.
“We’ve heard so many amazing people,” Reyes said.”One of my favorites was actually Kyle Lierman. He worked under the Obama administration. He actually worked directly with President Obama and his wife and he’s actually now working with Michelle Obama with her school initiatives for first generation students. He gave us a talk about how to be better leaders and how to connect with each other.”
Baylor United for UNICEF is in its second semester as an official student organization on Baylor’s campus.
San Antonio senior David Espinoza is president of the club and, with his friends and fellow classmates Clarissa Anderson and Taylor Strong, chartered the club last school year.
The three have been best friends since freshman year and wanted to make a difference before graduation, Espinoza said
“We always felt like we wanted to leave a mark on Baylor, but we wanted to leave a positive mark …,” Espinoza said. “We just got permission from Student Organizations officially last spring. This fall was our first semester.”
The three brainstormed and decided that started a UNICEF club chapter at Baylor would be the perfect way to make a difference on campus.
Though the club is young, they have already raised over $1,000 for the cause and have over 20 members. The club meets at 5 p.m. every other Tuesday in Morrison 102.
March 13 was UNICEF’s advocacy day during which club chapters all over the nation contacted politicians to raise awareness and gain support for UNICEF’s causes. At the UNICEF USA Student Summit, participants like Reyes had the opportunity to meet with politicians to promote the organization.