Gabriella Manduca, FIT’s first student delegate to the United Nations, is well on her way to make a difference in the world.
Manduca, a seventh-semester International Trade and Marketing student, became a youth delegate this fall through one such NGO partner, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to international education and cultural exchange. As one of two NAFSA youth delegates, she attends the U.N. briefings and summarizes them for the association’s blog. She also encourages other students, including her FIT classmates, to engage with the U.N.
The U.N. Department of Public Information partners with more than 1,300 nongovernmental organizations, which meet for weekly briefings at U.N. headquarters in New York City. These NGOs send delegates to report on the briefings, which cover hot-button issues such as education, poverty, and the refugee crisis.
Manduca is passionate about fighting the sale of counterfeit goods, which is connected to organized crime and human-rights abuses. A 2014–15 Museum at FIT exhibition, Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits, made her aware of this global problem, and her ITM classes galvanized her further. She applied to be a NAFSA delegate to broaden her understanding of the global stage.
“A lot of people making sustainable innovations don’t realize they can make a difference on the scale of the U.N.,” Manduca said. “I thought this could be an opportunity to start that conversation here at FIT.”
Congratulations to our fellow Tiger, Gabriella!