The applications to join the Seminar Staff as a Youth Dean or Adult Dean for the 2018 Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office Intergenerational Spring Seminar are now open and are due August 2nd, 2017!
The 2018 Seminar, on the topic of refugees and the global migration crisis, will be April 5-7, 2018 in New York City.
Here, the two Youth Deans from the 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar have each written about their experience leading the seminar, encouraging those who are interested to apply to be a Youth Dean for 2018-19! (Youth Dean is a two-year position—this person will serve as Junior Youth Dean in 2018 and Senior Youth Dean in 2019.)
2016 Junior Youth Dean, 2017 Senior Youth Dean
The Seminar is full of engaging and fun activities. There are inspirational speakers, a special youth night, panel discussions, a night on the town, and much more. If you are interested in working with some great people, developing your leadership skills, and learning about social justice issues, the Youth Dean position is for you. It is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to gain the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world.
In 2015, I received a scholarship to attend the UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar in New York. I spent three days with all generations learning together about international criminal justice. It was a life-changing event for me. I found an outstanding organization that was doing meaningful work with dedicated leaders educating youth and adults alike on the most important topics of our time.
I wanted to learn from the amazing people at the UU-UNO. I knew I had to return. I applied and received the two-year position of Youth Dean. I would be the Junior Youth Dean in 2016 for the seminar on The Colors of Inequality: Costs and Consequences, and Senior Youth Dean in 2017 for the seminar Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet.
I found out I would be spending the months preceding the Seminar leading a subcommittee, helping with programming and organizing the seminars, working on recruiting, and helping lead the youth portion of the Seminar. I was entrusted to take the lead on several things.
Thanks to the UU-UNO I was given a leadership experience that was in some ways at a higher level than anything I had ever had before. I learned that I was effective at public speaking and communicating well with others. I also found I didn't have trouble with impromptu speaking to large groups. Being a leader at these Seminars has prepared me for future leadership positions. I found I could lead with confidence and that I have the patience and collaborative skills necessary to be a good leader. It also taught me to always be introspective of my actions and be conscious of how I present myself to others. I found to get good results I need to be compassionate and pay attention to how I carry myself and interact with others in all aspects of my life from volunteering to school and work.
My role as Dean turned out to be one of my most meaningful leadership experiences. I have a great appreciation to all of the wonderful adult and youth leaders I have encouraged and befriended at the UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminars and look forward to attending future seminars and meeting participants from across the country interested in making a positive change.
2017 Junior Youth Dean, 2018 Senior Youth Dean
My name is Max and I have been attending the UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar since 2015. This past seminar I held the position of Youth Dean. Deaning the Spring Seminar has been one of the most unique, rewarding leadership roles I've ever taken on. As Dean, I got to work closely with the other Deans and the members of the Planning Committee to help plan the Seminar. Although a good deal of planning was involved, most of my responsibilities happened on-site, during the seminar. The Youth Deans guide the participants through the seminar, from the opening covenant circle to the closing ceremony. When it's time for the youth to come together, the Deans lead fun games and activities to help the youth bond as a community.
Although the dean role is demanding, you still have time to hang out and connect with the other participants. Other than the content itself, I think my favorite part of the Seminar has been meeting rad UUs from all over the world. At the UU-UNO Seminar, I could sit at a table and hit up a conversation with people from 5 or 6 different states. The community is structured in a way that encourages these kind of conversations and makes talking to new people easier. Being able to create this environment was a wonderful, rewarding experience. Working alongside the other more experienced Youth Dean was also incredibly fun, and I definitely learned a lot from him.
If anything I just described sounds enticing, you should seriously consider joining me as a Youth Dean for the 2018 UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar.