One of Skyline College’s international students, Franck Yao from Côte d’Ivoire, flew his country’s flag high as one of the esteemed guests at the recent United Nations Youth Council. The event was held from March 9 to March 11 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The program was an initiative by the United Nations to promote youth involvement in dealing with issues plaguing the world and to encourage young people to take responsibility for their communities.

Yao has had a long history of taking remarkable leadership roles. In high school, he nurtured his leadership skills to create youth development initiatives, one of which was recognized by the Côte d’Ivoire minister of education. This led him on a journey to becoming a national youth representative for his country, even standing for Côte d’Ivoire at the World Summit on Climate Change that was held in Paris in 2015. He stated that the struggles that he and other people in his community experienced motivated him to make positive change and drove him to develop his leadership abilities.

He is grateful for the opportunity to attend the United Nations Youth Council, because he was able to network with a lot of other like-minded people.

“Since I was a kid, I always identified myself as a proud African driven by passion and commitment to bring about opportunities in social development,” Yao said.  He wants to make a difference not only in Côte d’Ivoire, but all around the world. It is obvious that his dreams and ambitions are coming to fruition and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this bright student.

Article and Photo by Naledi Mthembu

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