Former Utah State University Student Body President, Michael Scott Peters, has been chosen as the youth representative in the United Nations. Peters will work with the United Nations Association to promote awareness of human rights issues and engage US youth globally.
“The youth observer takes American youth behind the scenes to give young people a glimpse of ‘Who’s talking here? What are they talking about? What are ways they can be involved in the conversation through social media?'" said Anna Mahalak, manager of youth engagement from the United Nations Association.
In September, Peters will attend U.N. general assembly week where he will be involved in conversations on a variety of global issues. He will meet with youth delegates from other countries and engage youth networks from across the US.
“That’s really important for us is to make sure the youth observer feels connected to young people across the US and is not only traveling to New York and DC, but traveling throughout Utah where Michael is based, or throughout the Midwest and west coasts," Mahalak said.
Before graduating in May, Peters served as the USU student body president and worked with international students in the USU office of global engagement where he developed an interest in human rights.
“I see this role as one more than just posting on social media, but really formulating specific calls to action," said Peters.
Peters emphasizes his work with survivors of human trafficking through the non-profits, Operation Underground Railroad and Mentors International. This summer he is in the Dominican Republic working for both groups and teaching self-sufficiency classes to local business owners.
“We talk about how to begin a business, the process of making it legal, what kind of products would be successful in the area, how to promote," Peters said. "Ideally, what we would want is for people to get inspired on these issues and take it back to their high school, take it back to their college. Although there is only one youth observer, there’s many many youth."
Throughout the year, Peters will work with non-profit partners with the UN and speak at different universities.