I have truly struggled with figuring out what to do for a signature project because I feel as though I won’t be able to make as big of an impact as I should be making as the CUNY Youth Ambassador. As the CUNY Youth Ambassador, my goal is to educate other CUNY students about the SDGs and how we can work towards them in order to help make the world a better place. This past month, I have been trying to figure out what to do for my signature project. At first, I thought I was going to be developing a presentation to educate the members of my Macaulay Green Initiative Club about SDGs and how we can move towards them. For example, in our Sustainable Self Care Workshop, where the members made DIY lotion bars and lip balms from sustainable sources, I tried to teach fellow members about responsible consumption and production. This is incredibly important to work towards especially with the issue of climate change. Although these events were extremely fun and taught people about the importance of sustainability, these events did not really hone in on the global aspects of sustainability. I felt as though I was briefly able to mention the SDGs, the members couldn’t understand how important it was to work towards them on a global level with the current issues in our world.
Currently, I am working on a new idea for my signature project. I hope to work with the Dean for Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation at the Graduate Center along with CASE, to develop a panel in the upcoming fall semester. I plan on trying to bring in various inspirational speakers, some of whom I met during the Youth Assembly. I am beyond ecstatic for this to come to life, because I am hoping that I’ll be able to inspire people of the CUNY community just like how I was inspired during the Assembly. Hearing the numerous speakers ignited a spark in me, to be the change that I want to see in the world. I am hopeful that the turnout from the panel will realize their power within them, and learn that they can be leaders in their own community as well. The other part of my project will be honing in on social media and using it to engage the CUNY community. Personally, I feel that social media is a wonderful idea to engage the CUNY youth. Social media is prevalent in the youth’s lives, and technology defines our society today. There have been numerous reports about how social media can affect someone’s mental health. Seeing this, it is clear that social media has the power to influence many members of the youth. Social media would be able to utilize technology as a platform for engaging the CUNY youth through something that they are all generally familiar with. The youth has been seen as the “generation of technology”, so utilizing social media will allow me to share ideas more effectively. Although it may be difficult to gain a following or an audience within social media, I believe that with the right research and the right goals in mind, it will be doable. Although there is a lot of planning left to do and I’m still brainstorming, I’m optimistic for how my signature project will develop and unfold.