Delegate Spotlight | Rural China and an Accounting Major's Epiphany: Junyang's Story of Work in Global Development
by Zachary Thomas
Junyang Yin, one of our seven stunning interns this year working to make the Millennium Campus Conference happen, makes issues of global conscience her dilemmas. She shared with me in her interview, “[Although] I do not have a specific education, pharmaceutical, or law major that aligns with the whole United Nations/Global Development sphere, I definitely bring my own passions into this” and her efforts on this front could not make that ring more true.
Back in China, Junyang served as the Minister of Propaganda, where she worked with the Chinese Youth Volunteer initiative and planned and advertised for key events such as ‘Protect the Seagull’, where she “got to see the issues facing children’s education as well as the poverty [in rural China] firsthand”. This experience showed her the real issues that face our global community and sparked her fire to do something to help those in need. When she came to the United States, she started a UNICEF campus initiative at St. John’s University where she and her team worked closely with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to host a one week ‘End Human Trafficking’ event. They advocated for the issue, fostered awareness for many people who didn’t realize that trafficking affects the lives of millions of children worldwide, and gathered support for a petition that asked the U.S. Congress to maintain the government contribution to UNICEF at $132 million for the 2016 fiscal year. This event had a huge impact, attracting 500 people on her campus and generating 217 new members for her UNICEF campus initiative. She also helped to introduce a water sanitation initiative called ‘Tap Project’ to the St. John’s University campus which encourages people to “Put down their phone for 15 minutes so that others can generate clean water.”
Junyang says that the previous conference at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida is the biggest reason she decided to be one of the summer interns this year for the Millennium Campus Network. That conference left a huge impact on Junyang and she felt particularly inspired Caryl Stern, author, child advocate and human rights activist, and her discussion of her experiences working in Mozambique, particularly one very stirring account: “[Caryl] gave a nutrition biscuit to a 4-year old child who was carrying a baby and hadn't eat all day long. The kid turned back to the baby and gave them half of the cookie. [Caryl] challenged us to consider the idea that if a child like that one, who is starved and tired, can give away half of his cookie, so can we.”
The simple revolution of this action was a revelation to Junyang. She disclosed that after those speeches, she felt almost possessed by a passion to do more, to make a difference, and to really hash out the issues with others. When she went to her Team Discussion, she found her outlet: “During the discussion I met people from different cultural backgrounds, listened to perspectives I had never considered that really opened my mind. Also, the true scenarios we talked about were particularly illuminating. These are problems that happen every day that need to be solved but are never discussed nor acknowledged by the media or the government.”
This summer, she and her seven fellow interns will be working diligently to put the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference together and make it equally impacting. “I look forward to having it at the United Nations and I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet other students at the UN to talk about the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals and see if I can put myself in the right position to help them reach their goals”. Certainly Junyang has more than enough passion for global issues and she is an invaluable addition to the team this year! We can’t wait to see what she will contribute to this conference.
Junyang along with the other summer interns look forward to being in New York City from August 11th - August 15th to make the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference at the United Nations an uplifting and transformative experience for all who attend! Apply at mcc15.org/delegateapplication to make your mark!