By Ajiya Doka
As the School of Diplomacy continues to teach and cultivate student leaders and global citizens of the present and the future, the Sustainable Development Goals passed in September of 2015 are the perfect framework in which youth can interact and create the world they want by 2030.
With this commitment, the Sustainable Development Challenge pushes high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to examine the world around them and address the needs of their community, country, and planet. With 17 goals, there are many aspects of development that students can express creatively to address the world’s greatest problems. Ideas range from awareness campaigns to infrastructure building featuring a variety of target groups.
Ten finalists will be able to present their proposals to a panel of judges on Friday, April 22.
With a grand total of $50,000 in cash prizes and scholarships to attend Seton Hall University, it is a great incentive to push young people to learn about the sustainable development goals and how individuals can help in meeting the targets. With recognition from the university, it is the School of Diplomacy’s hope that these students will be able to take their knowledge and educate others who are less informed about the goals and get young people active in the implementation process. With more than 1.8 billion young people in the world between the ages of 10 and 24, this is the generation that can change the world — a 17-year-old high school senior now will be 32 years old in 2030. By then, these students will be able to see the fruits of their labor.
One of the judges is Professor Martin S. Edwards. As the Director for the Center for United Nations and Global Governance Studies, his expertise on the sustainable development goals makes him the ideal judge for kids who could possibly be his future students.
“I’m deeply honored by the passion of the applicants and their determination to identify problems facing their communities. Most importantly, they are wrestling with how to address these challenges,” Edwards said.
This challenge, like the SDGs on a smaller scale, is the grandest coalition of students all over the country. Politicians, civil society leaders, business owners, and private citizens are all on a mission to become global citizens and create a better world.
In the School of Diplomacy, it is students, faculty, alumni, and friends who are seeking ways to become better informed and active in implementing the most ambitious United Nations agenda yet.