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Youth Representatives 2023-2024

Jessica Berman, Lehigh University, College of Health

My name is Jessica Berman and I am from West Hartford, Connecticut. I am a current second-year in the College of Health majoring in Population Health and pursuing three minors in: Chinese (Mandarin), Maternal & Child Health, and Health, Medicine & Society. I serve as Lehigh University’s Health-Focused Youth Representative to the United Nations. My role entails serving as a liaison between the College of Health and the United Nations and other international organizations with hopes to bring opportunities for students and establish global connections. I also create a bi-weekly health-focused newsletter distributed to faculty and students in the College of Health to keep up with UN agencies and other health related business. I am passionate about health equity, rectifying antibiotic resistance, and bioethics. In addition to this role, I am a TRAC Writing Fellow and a Research Assistant within the College of Health.

Claire Kirshenbaum, Lehigh University - Gender Equity/Youth Empowerment

My name is Claire Kirshenbaum and I am from Short Hills, New Jersey. I am double majoring in Sociology and Global Studies and minoring in International Relations with a certificate in Global Citizenship. I plan to graduate in May 2024. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Chioma Chigozie-Okwum, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

I am a resourceful individual and a promoter of inclusion, diversity and lifelong learning; I support and champion these causes. Passionate about globalization, I  traveled over 5000 miles from Nigeria to Lehigh University in Bethlehem Pennsylvania to pursue a Doctorate Degree in the Department Computer Science and Engineering. My area of research is exploring the intersection between Cybersecurity, Human Computer Interaction and Psychology; to solve the endemic human factor Security Issues plaguing cyberspace today. I work as a Research Assistant in the Digital, Algorithm and Society Lab, a Research Lab committed to Human Computer Interactions and Participatory Design Research and Development, within the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.
I Joined the UN rep program because gender related issues have been a cause I have championed for so long and this opportunity to represent an NGO that promotes the cause of women at the United Nations is one I treasure and hope to leverage to its full potential. 

Lorraine Rwasoka, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

My name is Lorraine Rwasoka ,College of Health and premed class of 2026. I am an international student from Zimbabwe. I am passionate about healthcare research and delivery.I am currently working on Maternal health and cervical cancer research in Sierra Leone. I am also passionate about women's issues and gender equity and equality.

Julia Wilczynski, 25 - Centre for Women Studies and Intervention

My name is Julia and I am a current sophomore from Warren, New Jersey. I am pursuing a degree in International Relations and Political Science minoring in Business. Being a first-generation university student and coming from a Polish household, I value the promotion of equality and the creation of inclusive environments. I am a Youth Representative for the Centre for Women Studies and Intervention, a non-governmental organization based in Abuja, Nigeria. The CWSI aims to uphold the rights of women and girls in Nigeria through grassroots activism. Aside from being a Youth Representative, I have served as President of the Global Union, am the Vice President of Programming for the World Affairs Club, and am an Iacocca International Intern.

Nessa Pello, Confederation of NGOs of Rural India

My name is Nessa Pello, and I am from Ottsville, Pennsylvania. I am currently a second-year student majoring in Environmental Studies and Global Studies with minors in Computer Science and Chinese. I developed a strong interest in environmental sustainability when my 8th grade project group implemented the installation of filtered water fountain stations throughout my school district. This experience showed me that young people can initiate productive change to help the environment. On campus, I am also involved in Southeast Asia at Lehigh (SEAL) as a SEAL Pup, Asian Cultural Society (ACS), and Society of Asian Engineers (SASE).

Sameen Basha, Confederation of NGOs of Rural India

Tasfia Ahmad, Nadam Foundation

My name is Tasfia Ahmad (she/her) and I am a freshman from South Jersey. I plan to major in Political Science at Lehigh University. I am a youth representative for the Nadam Foundation based in India which focuses on women and children's rights and gender equality. My goal is to dedicate myself to women and children around the world and give them the opportunities to succeed.

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.


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.

Ana Sofia Mendoza, Nor Luyce

My name is Ana Sofia Mendoza, and I am from Lima, Peru. I am part of the class of 2027, double majoring in Sociology and Political Science in the Pre-Law track. I am passionate about social justice and creating awareness about social issues - locally and globally. To do this, I am part of the Diversity Peer Educators on campus and most recently became a new representative of Nor Luyce at the United Nations. One of my main goals is to shed light on issues Nor Luyce addresses - the social and financial vulnerability young girls experience and how that impacts their personal and career goals. I would also like to further the ideas of female success and promote helpful resources to achieve it!

Ana Quintana Solis, Nor Luyce

Ana, originally from Spain, is currently pursuing a 1-year MBA program at Lehigh. She holds a master’s degree in Human Rights and Public Policy and is passionate about international development and cooperation, especially about issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment. With over 4 years of experience, Ana has dedicated her career to working with UN Women in Latin America and the Caribbean region, enhancing the UN System accountability and coordination efforts for gender equality and women’s empowerment. She also helped UN Women's offices develop their internal strategic plans, as well as UN agreements with Governments. Ana hopes to keep working with intergovernmental organizations and NGOs to support their efforts in promoting a more just and equitable world, ensuring that no woman or girl is left behind.

Diya Narayan, International Public Relations Association

My name is Diya Narayan and I am a first year student from Roxbury, New Jersey. I am currently in the business school with the plan of majoring in Marketing with a minor in Applied Statistics. I am extremely interested in human rights and addressing issues that emerge from the current media. I am currently doing research within the Business school regarding Generative AI in the marketing and management world, as well as being involved in Leela Indian Fusion Dance, Lehigh Tour Guide, Diversity Peer Educators, and South Asian Student Association. 

Sophia Barro, 25 - Widow Development Organization

My name is Sophia Barro and I am from Chevy Chase, Maryland. I am a current Junior double majoring in Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Africana Studies. I serve as a UN Youth Representative for the Widows Development Organization (WiDO), an NGO advocating of the violation of human rights that widows suffer globally. This role allows me to address critical issues affecting women globally from an intersectional lens. I’m passionate about gaining real-world, hands on experience in international diplomacy and policymaking!

Adeyemi Odudimu, Widow Development Organization

My name is Adeyemi Odudimu, I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry. My research involves investigating molecular factors that underlie Myelin-associated glycoprotein binding. In addition to my passion for science and research, I am also passionate about being the voice to the voiceless, hence I will be working with WiDO as a UN Youth representative.

Olivia Lundquist, World Corrosion Organization

My name is Olivia Lundquist and I am from Pennington, New Jersey. I am a sophomore studying Materials Science and Engineering and Environmental Studies with a certificate in Global Citizenship. I am particularly interested in studying how sustainable materials can be improved to lessen our impact on the environment in an equitable manner. I am a youth representative for the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) and I look forward to advocating for more measures of corrosion control and awareness. Corrosion is a widely overlooked, but important issue that impacts people all over the world and I am excited to advocate for this cause both on Lehigh’s campus and at the United Nations. In addition to representing the WCO, I am a tour guide, TRAC writing fellow, student senator, and orientation leader.

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.