"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

Student Activists Address United Nations


Activists and Friends students Reza ’24, Elinor ’24 and Jahzara ’25 are at the forefront of positive change past 16th Street. 

They are members of the Youth for Equity and Solidarity Council (YES Council), the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ council of young leaders who are interested in working on human rights issues in New York City. They work alongside other young leaders to advise the Commission on how to expand engagement with young people and help guide youth programming and events by providing feedback on workshops and trainings, informing the Commission of issues and incidents related to bias and discrimination, and planning youth-related events. Their hope is to build long-term engagement with young people interested in and committed to the mission of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and to empower young people to become actively engaged in fostering environments of inclusion and respect. 

On Wednesday, December 6 the United Nations celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The celebration featured the three students, and their fellow peers were able to attend their presentations alongside other members of the YES Council. Topics ranged from addressing mental health to educational inequity. 

Jahzara ‘25 explains, “Children shouldn’t have to change for the system. The system should change for them.”
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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.