As part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations' partnership with the UN Department of Public Information, two Seton Hall students have been selected to be UN Youth Representatives. Elaina Estrin and Gabriela Taveras, both undergraduates, will be representing the University this year. Elaina was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan but has lived in New Jersey for most of her life. Gabriela is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Elaina is a sophomore double major in Diplomacy and International Relations and Modern Languages. Her focus is on international organizations and post conflict state building. Fluent in English and Russian, Elaina will be continuing her Arabic language studies in Muscat, Oman this upcoming summer. Elaina has interned with the office of Senator Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), worked closely with a DC-based consulting firm called Field Strategies, and taught English in Petrozavodsk, Russia. Currently she is the head of Public Relations for SHU's Slavic Club and Secretary for SHU's International Law Society.
"Being a youth representative gives me access to briefings, workshops, documents promoting youth activities and opportunities to be a youth speaker," Elaina said. "Having this access allows me to be a channel that people can use to learn more about the UN and promote youth participation in the organization."
Gabriela is a sophomore in the School of Diplomacy. In addition to serving as a School of Diplomacy Youth Representative to the UN, Gabriela serves as a Representative for the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic in New York and the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo. In the Seton Hall community, she fulfills the presidency of the UNA-USA Campus Chapter, which is part of a larger network affiliated with GenUN, the youth-engagement initiative of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Gabriela hopes to pursue her interests in International Development and Peace and Conflict Resolution through future graduate studies.
"Through this position, I aspire to motivate other young people to actively engage in causes they are passionate about, and to teach them that youth is not an excuse for inaction: they alone can determine where they will go, and they alone can set the limits to what they can achieve," Gabriela said.
As part of their responsibilities, both Elaina and Gabriela will be working closely with Professor Martin Edwards, Director of the Center for UN and Global Governance Studies. They will be using their grounds passes to attend UN briefings and events and they will both be writing content for the Permanent Observer Blog. Professor Edwards believes that the appointment of Youth Representatives indicates a deepening in the School's relationship with the United Nations. He also noted, "We had many impressive applications for these positions, and Gabriela and Elaina will represent us proudly in our first year of this program. I can't wait to get started!"