Cincinnati, Ohio – April 13, 2017 – Four Saint Ursula Academy students recently visited the United Nations in New York to attend the Youth Forum as part of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
At Saint Ursula Academy, students are encouraged to become confident leaders and reflective thinkers who make a difference in the world. Cassidy Gebhart ‘18, Elizabeth Geraghty ‘18, Mary Ellen O'Toole ‘18, and Sarah Thornton ‘18, the four Saint Ursula students who attended the Commission, left New York feeling empowered and ready to continue the conversation about gender equality with their friends and family.
Mary Ellen O’Toole was honored that she was encouraged to attend his trip. “I hope that I can use what I learned to spread the importance of gender equality to my family, friends, and anyone I encounter who could use information on how gender equality would socially and economically benefit the word. I learned so much about topics we do not typically hear about in the news. I also met girls from all over the country and the world who are passionate about the same topics I am.”
Cassidy Gebhart would like to share some of the information that she learned with her friends at Saint Ursula Academy. She feels that a change in the thinking of young women in her community can lead to bigger change throughout the world.
“I feel much more encouraged that even though I am young, I am still able to help change the way the world views women and I can work actively to challenge the stereotypes that face us as a whole,” said Cassidy.
SUA Social Studies teacher Erika Lundstedt accompanied the students on the trip.
"The Youth Forum at the Commission on the Status of Women allows students to see that their voice is valued in the world. The CSW stressed that if the world is going to achieve gender equality by 2030 we need to be taking an intersectional approach to tackling women's issues. By attending CSW events, students are exposed to a variety of activists of various ages, nationalities, viewpoints, and life experiences. They then begin to realize that when reforms are made to benefit particular segments of the population, such as women and youth, all of society reaps the benefits,” said Lundstedt.
In addition to the forums in which the students participated, they also experienced winter storm Stella while in New York City and learned first-hand what happens when a major city shuts down due to winter weather. Fortunately, the storm only caused their plans to be rearranged and not cancelled completely.
Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. 86% of the Class of 2016 earned college scholarships totaling more than $22-million.
Photo Caption: Saint Ursula students Mary Ellen O’Toole of Anderson Township, Cassidy Gebhart of Oxford, Elizabeth Geraghty of Western Hills, and Sarah Thornton of Anderson Township recently attended the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.