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Finalists Selected for Sustainable Development Challenge  

United NationsThe United Nations is getting help achieving its Sustainable Development Goals from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and high school students around the world. As part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relation’s U.N. Sustainable Development Challenge, 10 finalists have been selected from a pool of more than 300 high school students who submitted proposals to help achieve the U.N.’s 17 goals. On Friday, April 22 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the finalists, representing five states nationally and three countries internationally, will present their proposals for judging in the Beck Rooms of the Walsh Library. 

“The purpose of this competition is to crowdsource ideas about how each of us can support the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals,” said Martin Edwards, director of the Center for United Nations and Governance Studies at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. 

In addition to nearly 200 domestic applications, the competition drew 132 international entries. Each student submitted a proposal aimed at helping to achieve one or more of the U.N’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which set out to reduce global poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Their applications were reviewed by a panel of nine individuals, including eight faculty members affiliated with the Center for Unites Nations and Governance Studies and the Executive Director of the United Nations Association for the United States. Five men and five women were selected as finalists, including two from New Jersey, one from California, one from Florida, one from Illinois, one from Washington, two from the Philippines, one from Kazakhstan and one from Singapore. 

Michael Kohler, a sophomore from Orland Park, Illinois, focuses on Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, proposing the creation of a Center for International Scientific Cooperation, which would tackle everything from creating vaccines to sourcing renewable energy sources. 

Isaac Perrin, a sophomore from Redmond, Washington, focuses on Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, proposing Project Ethanol to implement biofuel production sites in developing countries and depressurized distillation system. This has the potential to reduce energy expenditure in biofuel production by 18%. 

Joseph Montesano, a senior from Succasunna, New Jersey, focuses on Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, proposing expansion of existing solar roadways technology to spread access to electricity in underdeveloped countries. 

Ryan Morales, a senior from Baguio City, Philippines, focuses on Goal 4: Quality Education, proposing the distribution of Learning Portal Kits, which would provide an Internet receiving satellite dish and 10 to 15 solar-powered laptops with age-specific curricula. 

Adel Bayeshova, a junior from Almaty, Kazakhstan, focuses on Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, proposing the utilization of laser light to power fuel cells to wirelessly and affordably transmit energy, an invention of his own design which has already been patented in Kazakhstan.  

Crystal Coriano, a junior from San Diego, California, focuses on Goal 4: Quality Education, proposing the creation of a non-profit organization called Action Changes Things. The organization would focus on opportunities to expand educational opportunities to women around the world. 

Adriana Mancini, a junior from Palm City, Florida, focuses on Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, proposing her own student-run campaign to raise awareness of the global water crisis. Mancini has already participated in events and fundraising for this issue, and hopes the better access to water will allow girls to spend less time searching for it and more time in school. 

John Matthew Marquez, a sophomore from Batangas City, Philippines, focuses on Goal 13: Climate Action, proposing a required school curriculum which would educate students on the threat of climate change and prepare students to engage on climate at the policy level. 

Diya Mehta, a junior from Singapore, focuses on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, proposing the replacement of heavily polluting boilers and air conditioners in hotels with more efficient heat pumps. Hotels are heavier polluters than households, so changes to hotels have the potential for a greater impact. 

Megan Ung, a junior from Kendall Park, New Jersey, focuses on Goal 3: Health and Wellbeing, proposing Virtual Training for Medical Professionals to help train doctors in underdeveloped countries or conflict zones to perform life-saving procedures, ranging from CPR to complex surgeries. 

The winner of the U.N. Sustainable Development Challenge will receive $2,500 to help jumpstart their idea or raise awareness of the issue on which they are focusing, as well as a $10,000 scholarship to Seton Hall University. Second place will earn one of the finalists $1,000 cash, as well as a $6,000 scholarship to the University. All other finalists will receive a $4,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall. To read the proposals and choose your favorite, visit here. 

Categories: Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Martin Edwards
  • (973) 275-2507
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