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Youth Representatives 2022-2023

John Blake, Tarumitra

My name is John D. Blake, and I am from Las Vegas, Nevada. I am a second-year student double majoring in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in German. I am a UN Youth Representative for Tarumitra. Tarumitra is a student-led organization based in Patna, India that focuses on teaching students about environmental protection, climate action, and Earth-based spirituality. Recently I have been working with Tarumitra to advocate for increased efforts for the conservation of biodiversity at official UN events and to students in India.

Julianna Caskie, Nor Luyce

My name is Julianna Caskie, and I am from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I am a senior studying Political Science with minors in both Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as well as Architecture Studio; after graduation I plan to pursue further education to examine the intersections of gender and politics. In addition to representing Nor Luyce, I also am a tour guide, a member of the Lehigh mock trial team, and a part of two different research teams through the Office of Creative Inquiry (the White-Adolescent Racial Socialization and the LGBTQ Archive teams). I am excited to work with Nor Luyce to further the education of underprivileged girls in Armenia to bring about more female empowerment across the globe.

Reeza Chaulagain, Centre for Public Health

My name is Reeza Chaulagain, and I am from Nepal. I am a freshman in the College of Health, and I plan to double major in Community and Global Health and Economics. I serve as a UN Youth Representative for the Center of Public Health, an organization based in Nigeria to promote women’s health and support people living with HIV/AIDS. My role is to advocate for these topics at the UN on behalf of the university. Additionally, as a Global Union Ambassador, I am responsible for planning events and activities to promote global awareness and cultural understanding within the Lehigh community.

Emma Closter, Lehigh University, College of Health

My name is Emma Closter and I am from Westchester, New York. I am a sophomore majoring in Population Health and minoring in Health Policy and Policies. I serve as the health-focused UN Youth Representative for Lehigh University. In this role I communicate with the College of Health faculty and listen to their ideas for the program to create connections at the UN and other large international organizations. The College of Health is new at Lehigh University and much of the work in this role is establishing a path for the future based on some of the passions of the College of Health staff to create opportunities for students. I will also be working on the health-focused UN newsletter that is sent out to Lehigh students. In addition to this role, I am a Student Senator, Peer Health Advisor, and Orientation Leader.

Samara Everman, Nadam Foundation

My name is Samara Everman and I am from Lawrence, New Jersey. I am a junior studying Population Health and minoring in Maternal and Child Health and Religion. I serve as a UN Youth Representative for the Nadam Foundation based in India which focuses on women and children's rights and gender equality. Given my background in the social determinants of health, I advocate for women and children through a global public health lens. I am very grateful the UN Youth Representative Program has given me the opportunity to closely work with an NGO which holds an initiative that I am passionate about. 

Emma Hartmann, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

My name is Emma Hartmann and I am from Evanston Illinois. I will be graduating in 2023 and I am majoring in International Relations and minoring in French. I am a UN Youth Representative for the Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI), an NGO based in Abuja, Nigeria. The work of CWSI focuses on promoting the rights of women and the girl-child through projects aimed at women & economic and political empowerment and fighting to end gender-based violence. My work as a UN Youth Representative for CWSI has given me the opportunity to present at UN conferences and has deepened my dedication for fighting for women’s rights.

Zahra Hassan, American Association of University Women

Zahra Hassan is a rising sophomore majoring in political science. She is from East Lyme, Connecticut and always has had a passion for equity for women. She hopes her work with the AAUW will help with furthering this goal.

Lauryn Holgado, Nadam Foundation

Lauryn Holgado is a current sophomore pursuing a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. She is a Gryphon, a teaching assistant, a research assistant, and an Eco-Representative on campus. She is excited to extend her passion for the environment through her work as a UN Youth Representative. Currently, she is the UN Youth Representative for the Nadam Foundation, an NGO centered on sustainable development. Lauryn is focused on promoting the Nadam Foundation's goals of environmental protection and nuclear disarmament. In addition, Lauryn is a recipient of the DAAD Rise scholarship where she will be conducting research with a doctoral student in Freiberg, Germany. Lauryn is interested in how the intersection of chemistry and the environment aids in the sustainable development of the world in all aspects: economically, socially, and environmentally.


Hasan Jashari, World Corrosion Organization

My name is Hasan (Class of 2024) and I am from Antwerp,  Belgium, with roots in Albania and Kosovo. I am currently a sophomore double majoring in International Relations and Economics and I represent the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) as a UN Youth Rep. Our goal is to promote the mission of the WCO, which strives to ensure and facilitate the implementation of corrosion control measures by governments and firms. Together with the other WCO Youth Rep, I work to identify countries with severe corrosion issues and contact their UN missions to raise awareness about corrosion and highlight to them how the WCO can help. In other words, we aim to bridge the gap between the WCO, its experts and member societies, and the missions at the UN.  

Lauryn Jones, Centre for Public Health

My name is Lauryn Jones and I am a sophomore from St. Paul, Minnesota. I am majoring in population health and minoring in biology on the pre-medical track. I am a youth representative for the Centre for Public Health. I am also a Global Social Impact Fellow at Lehigh where I am working with a team to create a low-cost diagnostic device for sickle cell disease. I have a passion for health and health equity and am excited at the opportunity to continue this work!

Claire Kirshenbaum, Lehigh University - Gender Equity and Youth Empowerment

My name is Claire Kirshenbaum and I am from Short Hills, New Jersey. I am double majoring in Sociology and Global Studies with a certificate in Global Citizenship. I serve as UN Youth Representative for Lehigh, with a gender equality and youth empowerment focus. My role is to advocate for these topics at the UN on behalf of the University, and advance these goals on campus.

Iz Lucero, Tarumitra

My name is Iz Lucero and I am a junior joint International Relations and Economics major. I am from Rockland County, NY and the Philippines. I am a UN Youth Representative for Tarumitra, an NGO focused on environmental issues based in Patna, India. Tarumitra was founded by a Jesuit priest and a group of students and seeks to lift the voices of students in India passionate about environmental protection. I was inspired to join the Youth Representative program as my family has a long history with the United Nations, my great aunt was the first woman member of the executive board of UNESCO and my grandmother was a peacekeeper. I am very passionate about climate justice, and promote sustainability on campus as an Eco-Rep. As a UN Youth Representative I advocate for the mission of my NGO at the UN to global leaders and encourage them to take the issue of climate change seriously. My approach to being a UN Youth Representative is to proceed with a cultural sensitivity for the communities I work with.

Tess McGinley, Centre for Public Health

Hello, My name is Tess McGinley, I am a second-year student from Albany, California. I am currently studying Earth and Environmental Science and Health Medicine Society. I started as a Youth Representative for the Centre for Public Health in the Fall of 2019. I have enjoyed advocating for the CPH's goals of improving rural women's health as it relates to breast cancer, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine. In addition to being a Youth Rep, I work as a Gryphon, tour guide, and safety officer of the women's wrestling club.

Caroline Mierzwa, Nor Luyce

My name is Caroline Mierzwa and I am from Rutherford, New Jersey. Studying English with minors in History and Global Citizenship, I am passionate about writing for global audiences and disseminating information on the importance of education accessibility. I am also pursuing a 4+1 Master’s in Education Program, with a concentration in Secondary English. I am in the Eckardt Scholars Program, a co-captain of the Lehigh University Dance Team, and the former Lehigh/UN Partnership Intern. I am the UN Youth Representative for Nor Luyce, an NGO based in Armenia that provides a three phase mentorship program for young girls, equipping them with the skills, confidence, and support to attend a higher education institution and to lead self-sufficient, meaningful lives. I am dedicated to studying the relationship between gender equality and education and advocating for the important work Nor Luyce is accomplishing.

Chidi Nwaogbo, World Corrosion Organization

My name is Chidiebere Nwaogbo. I am currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Physics at Lehigh University. My research focuses on 2D materials and material heterostructures, and I double as a teaching assistant here at Lehigh. I have accepted to work as a UN youth representative under the umbrella of the World Corrosion organization to fast-forward the control of corrosion within my immediate community and the world at large. My passion for nature and environmental safety, coupled with my curiosity about creating reliable and more efficient industrial materials, will spur me to preach the message of corrosion across different locations, especially in countries that are greatly affected by its effects.

Nicole (Nikki) Pasterczyk, Caring and Living as Neighbours

My name is Nicole (Nikki) Pasterczyk and I am part of the class of 2025 studying Molecular Biology on the pre-med track. I am part of the SEA-PHAGES research program, am currently training to be an EMT to serve for LUEMS, and was a reporter for the Brown and White paper at Lehigh. I was inspired to serve as a United Nations Youth Representative for CLAN due to my passions for medicine, leadership, and service. In addition, my brother has a rare genetic disorder, so my personal experience with his hardships has encouraged me to spread awareness and advocate for those with NCDs, especially those from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds.

Sofia Russeau, Caring and Living as Neighbours

My name is Sofia Rousseau and I'm a Population Health major with a double minor in global studies and maternal and child health with a certificate in global studies. I'm passionate about helping mitigate healthcare disparities around the world. In addition to focusing on vulnerable and historically overlooked populations in health. Representing an NGO at the U.N is a way to give voice to these marginalized communities and help ensure their needs are being addressed.

Aditi Sathe, Unitarian Universalist Association

Aditi is currently a second-year Biocomputational Engineering student from Bridgewater NJ. The NGO that she represents is the Unitarian Universalist Association, an organization dedicated to welcoming people of all identities and creating a strong sense of community and spirituality within its people. In her time as a Youth Representative, Aditi hopes to spread the message of the NGO all through campus and the larger community around her through the planning of various events.

Michael Stevanovich, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

I am an International Relations Modern Language major from Detroit and currently serve as the Youth Representative for Augustinians International. The mission of Augustinians International is to bear witness at the UN, and in this spirit, I advocate for the protection of our inalienable human rights, specifically climate justice. Education is the most important advocacy tool and I am working to create “Green Education” modules to provide students across the world with the education needed to become an advocate for climate justice.

Elizabeth Sullivan, Tarumitra

My name is Elizabeth Sullivan, and I am from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am currently pursuing a joint major in International Relations and Economics at Lehigh. I am a Youth Representative for Tarumitra, a NGO with over 300,000 members based in Patna, India and focused on ecological sensitivity and the preservation of biodiversity. As a Youth Representative, I attend UN conferences and events relevant to Tarumitra’s mission. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Tarumitra’s virtual EcoFest conference and share a message about the conservation of biodiversity.

Kyra Szabo, American Association of University Women

My name is Kyra Szabo and I am from Tucson, Arizona. I am majoring in Global Studies with a double minor in business and anthropology. I serve as a UN Youth Representative for American Association of University Women, an NGO fighting for fairness and equality for all women and girls through federal, state, and local policies. Additionally, I am a global social impact fellow, working on food production to fight malnutrition and stunted growth in Sierra Leone. I am dedicated to ensuring that every person, no matter their gender or socioeconomic status, is given equal access and opportunities for success.

Rolake Tomoye, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

My name is Rolake Tomoye and I am from many different places and next year I will be a senior at Lehigh, graduating in May 2023. I mainly call Houston, Lagos and London home. I went to a United World College (UWC-USA) for highschool and I am currently an IDEAS major with concentrations in Computer Science Engineering, Economics and Global Studies. I am very passionate about sub-Saharan African development and thus working with the CWSI has been a perfect fit.