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YRE winner represents Asia Pacific in scholarship to UNDP symposium

Joanna Tao, a previous YRE winner, is one of two students across Asia-Pacific to be selected to attend the 2018 University Scholars Symposium (UCLC), to be held at the UN Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Humanitarian Affairs Asia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will host the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) 2018 in Thailand from the 1st to the 7th August of 2018. The theme of the Symposium is “Inspiring Confidence, Inspire Change”. It is expected about 1,200 emerging world leaders from more than 70 countries will participate in this event, where leaders of industry will encourage delegates to bring social change within their communities.

YRE Global extended the opportunity for two YRE students from the Asia Pacific region to represent YRE and also tell and share their stories through the YRE platform.  They were looking for outstanding individuals between 18 and 30 years who have demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to effecting positive change across the globe.  The two successful applicants were selected from New Zealand and South Korea.

In 2016 Joanna won First Prize in the NZ YRE Writing 15-18 Year Competition whilst attending St Dominic’s Catholic College.  Currently Joanna is a first year Urban Planning student studying at The University of Auckland and in 2017 was the coordinator for Green Jam Youth.  Joanna is also involved with NZAEE (New Zealand Association for Environmental Education), Generation Zero and Fossil Fuel Free UOA.

In her YRE application, Joanna said “I have a strong passion for environment and am also interested in journalism and documenting those who inspire a change in our current society”.

KNZB nominated Joanna for the fully funded scholarship to attend the Symposium.  A major advantage of participating in the YRE Programme is that past YRE students are given the opportunity to apply for YRE funded scholarships, usually up until the time they reach 30 years.

The goal of the YRE Litter Less Programme is to reduce litter and affect long-term behaviour change among young people aged 11-18 years.  It aims to empower young people to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video.  To learn more about YRE, check out the website

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