Thank you to all our Ambassadors, current Fellows and special guests who helped us make the first big GCI Reunion a huge success! We were so inspired by each person who came and shared their life experiences and aspirations. It was great to see 30 of our Ambassadors and Fellows from different years, who had traveled from far and wide (all over the US, the UK, Brazil and Turkey), making connections with one another.
The Reunion started at the United Nations, where we were led through an icebreaker activity by the compelling Warren Hardy from Narrative4. Our Ambassadors and Fellows were invigorated after sharing their stories of objects with personal importance. We were then joined by a panel of UN staff: Amil Aneja, Consultant at the UN Capital Development Fund, Mari Yamashita, Director of Asia and Pacific Division, Department of Political Affairs at the UN and Zhendai Yang, Finance Officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We are so grateful to our panelists for showing our Ambassadors and Fellows what a career at the United Nations could look like.
Following the UN Panel, we heard from Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Youth Envoy. She was incredibly inspiring and, along with the panelists, prompted thoughtful questions from our Ambassadors and Fellows. We were even able to get a group photo with her, which we will look back on with fond memories!
After lunch and a fascinating tour of the UN, we split into two groups and traveled by subway and in the pouring rain to our afternoon sessions at Goldman Sachs and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). We enjoyed two very different and very insightful speakers at each of these companies. Those at Goldman Sachs heard from Kevin Smith, Vice President of Environmental Markets Group, while the BCG group heard from Connie Early, a Principal at BCG who works with the International Rescue Committee. Thank you to our afternoon speakers!
We all convened at BCG for a sumptuous dinner and listened to GCI’s Founder and President, Yumi Kuwana, as well as three Ambassadors: Karishma Bhagani (2014, AAC Member), Kevin Zhen (2015, AAC Member) and Obaidullah Barakzai (2017). Every opportunity to hear from our youth is just as special as the next and this was no different.
The next morning, we met for brunch at the Freehand Hotel, where some of us had stayed the night before, and were joined by some of our amazing supporters, including Board Member Loyti Cheng. This was an invaluable time to connect over some more delicious food and was a great way to finish this GCI Reunion.
We could not do any of this without your continued support and are truly humbled by your desire to be part of the journeys of our Ambassadors and Fellows.