July 07, 2021

Letter from the Director July 2021

In 1938, American journalist William Allen White wrote the following:

Student riots... indicate a healthy growth and a normal functioning of the academic mind. Youth should be radical. Youth should demand change in the world. Youth should not accept the old order if the world is to move on. But the old orders should not be moved easily—certainly not at the mere whim or behest of youth. There must be clash and if youth hasn't enough force or fervor to produce the clash the world grows stale and stagnant and sour in decay. If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vim and vigor, then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better world for tomorrow.

I share this quote because I believe that the tenacity of today's youth will absolutely make the world better tomorrow. So this month's Letter from the Director is dedicated to youth and the many opportunities for youth to use their vim and vigor to learn about and lead Utah as an international economic, innovative, and cultural hub.  

Let's begin with our International Youth Summit. On Thursday, August 12, youth ages 14-32 can join this free and in-person, single-day event where they will learn from other youth leaders about the tools needed to address global problems and encourage them to become worldwide change agents. During the event, attendees will hear from speakers, participate in interactive sessions, and network with peers. They will also learn about our college program - the Global Leaders Scholarship Fund, and our high school program - the Young Diplomats of Utah program.

Furthermore, we will host our first Utah's 7 for 17 Award - a formal award that recognizes seven local youth doing extraordinary work with one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you know of any youth, again ages 14-32, who fit this description, please nominate them here

Next, we are seeking local youth and their families to virtually host 2-3 high school youth from Mexico as part of the Jóvenes en Acción program. This program aims to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Mexico; prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; Nurture students to be actively engaged in addressing issues of concern in their schools and communities.  Click here to learn more about host family commitments and to apply for this opportunity. 

Finally, Utah Valley University Office of Global Engagement is calling students of all ages to submit a paper and oral presentation proposal for the first International Academic Conference on Sustainable Development Goals scheduled for Fall 2022. Reflecting on the quote I shared initially, the pen is mightier than the sword, so sharing your research can be a radical act. Click here for details.

There is no better time than today to make a better world for tomorrow!

Felecia Maxfield-Barrett
Executive Director