Empowered Champion: Mariniell Clarete

Mariniell Clarete, or Nielly, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

My APYE journey began when I joined the fifth installment in Manila last January 2018. Affirmed as a valuable partner in instilling positive change to society, I began to understand the power of youth involvement at its very raw stage. Surrounded by so many passionate young leaders from the Asia Pacific region and beyond, I was quickly consumed by youthful idealism to believe that with solidarity, the power of collective action is insurmountable.

I took my learnings from APYE to heart and sought to be a more proactive and effective youth by participating in socio-civic organizations inside and outside of school, and eventually to a global platform. After completing the 5th APYE, I was invited to become a facilitator at the 6th APYE in Manila and the 2nd APYE in South Korea.

APYE Korea 2 last August 2018

Through the APYE Alumni Network, I was introduced to the World Youth Alliance (WYA), an international NGO composed of young people all over the world who advocate for human dignity as the foundation for human rights. After graduation, I was accepted for the global internship at the World Youth Alliance headquarters in New York. There, I was exposed to managing global projects and supporting membership campaigns, directly working under the WYA president. I also represented WYA in both local and international communities, primarily the United Nations, in promulgating WYA’s work, mission and vision to possible partners. Serving as a youth representative, my desire to work along the lines of development only grew stronger.

Photos of WYA HQ Interns from Belgium, Canada, Kenya, U.S.A and the Philippines at the United Nations Headquarters, New York

Currently, I am back in the Philippines serving as the APYE Fellowship Program Associate for the organization, the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange Manila Inc.,, and the Delegate Management Coordinator for the 3rd iteration of APYE Korea. At the same time, I also volunteer at the World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific office in representing and supporting local events. I am finishing a Fertility Education Medical Management (FEMM) Teacher Certification course that aims to educate women on how to manage their health and fertility. Lastly, I am also completing a verified certificate in the course: ‘Social Work Practice in Community Organization, Management, and Policy/Evaluation’, from the University of MichiganX.

With a renewed perspective in global citizenship, I seek to better equip myself to be able to meaningfully and effectively contribute to the current social landscape. Youth are powerful partners in solving problems and leading change. Precisely, platforms such as APYE that promote youth-focused and youth participation hone the next generation to exercise grit and take responsibility in addressing global affairs. APYE served as a powerful jump-start for me. And this is only the beginning.

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