Former Youth Ambassador Chosen to Represent Colombia Abroad

Author: 
Danilo Molina, 2014 Colombian Youth Ambassador

My name is Danilo Angulo Molina. I am 17 years old and from Plato Magdalena, Colombia. Last October I had the opportunity to be a Youth Ambassador in the U.S. for one month, traveling to both Washington D.C. and Arkansas, and to also serve as a representative for one week at a conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Below is my reflection from my time as a Youth Ambassador, an overview of the work I have done in Colombia since, and my plans to represent Colombia abroad.

What are you most grateful for about your Youth Ambassadors experience?

Being a Youth Ambassador significantly changed my life by giving me the opportunity to see the world from a global perspective and teaching me great values and ideals that I will always have in mind - to serve, connect and change lives.The program also equipped me with the skills to be able to make a change in my hometown when I returned. I am extremely grateful for the experience.

Upon your return from the program, what community project did you lead?

There have been an increasing number of unplanned adolescent pregnancies in my community, and in Colombia overall. I had always wanted to do something to address the issue, but before Youth Ambassadors I did not know where to start. After returning from my program, I partnered with the local mayor's office and created Jóvenes Emprendedores de los Servicios de Salud Amigables para adolescentes y jóvenes (JESSA), a healthcare initiative that spreads awareness among youth. I recently launched a campaign, with the help of 14 peers. We led presentations for youth at local parks, high schools, and hospitals. The presentations described statistics about the rate of teen pregnancy in Plato Magdalena, and ways to reduce that number. We emphasized the importance of pursuing an education, responsible decision-making, setting life goals, proper use of contraceptives, STD prevention, and the availability of supportive resources.The next step in my journey is informing the international community about issues Plato Magdalena faces. 

Tell us about your next opportunity to represent Colombia on an opportunity abroad.

As a result of my experience, I decided to apply to school abroad and continue learning about ways I can make a difference. After a long selection process with multiple criteria, I was awarded a full 2-year scholarship to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma program (IB) at the Eastern Mediterranean  International School (EMIS) in Israel. The program attracts young students from over 50 countries between the ages of 16 and 19. EMIS is partnered with the Aviv University Porter School for Environmental Studies.

The school's mission is to use education as a force for peace and a sustainable future. I was selected to be the sole representative of Colombia at EMIS, and am thrilled for the opportunity to be able to represent my country in a learning environment. I plan on putting all of the knowledge and skills that I acquired, both during my experience with the Youth Ambassadors program and from my project, into practice during my time as EMIS.

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Danilo’s tuition for EMIS is covered, but first he has to get to Israel! He’s fundraising for support for airfare, books, and his student visa. Check out his fundraising page below:

https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/just-need-a-little-help-me-with-my-dream-of-study

If you would like to learn more about EMIS check out their website and YouTube video below:

http://www.em-is.org/international-baccalaureate/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C1TTL7kIao

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