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In partnership with the Civil Society Unit and the Academic Impact Initiative of the United Nations Department of Global Communications


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Wednesday October 5, 2022
11:15am - 12:45pm Ragan Theatre


SEYYED AHMADI - Afghanistan


Seyyed Ahmadi is 19 years old and a senior at Utah International Charter School. He is the second born of five children and was born in Afghanistan, but because of war, his family fled to Turkey when he was seven years old. He lived in Turkey for 10 years and was then resettled in the United States as a refugee in 2019. Seyyed is determined to have a better life in the United States and works hard to support his family. He balances a full time job and full time high school course work. His dream is to attend the aviation program at Utah Valley University as the first person in his family to attend college.



Maths for Human Flourishing

Dona Ibrahim is a first-generation Somali-American who was born in Saudi Arabia. Her parents instilled in her, from a very young age, the importance of pursuing an education; that it’s the most powerful tool in your toolbox—a tool that could unlock many doors of opportunities. This is why her family moved to the United States when she was just three-years-old. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2018 with a BA in Film & Media Arts with an Emphasis in Animation and a Minor in Business. Shortly after graduating, she was hired at Cartoon Network as an Associate Writer/Video Editor. Because of her unique upbringing, she makes it a priority to bring accurate representation in the media. Her main drive is to inspire kids with a similar background that anything is possible."


Chit Chit

Chit Chit Poe is 17 years old and is a junior at Utah International Charter School. She is the fifth born of eight children. She was born in Burma (Myanmar), but her family fled to Thailand when she was two years old. She lived in a refugee camp until her family was approved to come to the United States as refugees in 2019. Her sister needed a heart transplant and America was their best hope. Once they arrived here, she was able to get the surgery and is now healthy and happy. She works part time at her high school and helps keep everything running smoothly. She will graduate in 2024 and her goal is to attend college and find a career that she is passionate about. She will be the first in her family to pursue a college degree.



Silvain Sangano is 19 years old and a senior at Utah International Charter School. He is the fourth born of seven children. His parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but they fled to Rwanda before Silvain was born because of the mass genocide that was happening there. Silvain was born in Rwanda and he grew up in the city of Kigali. Life was difficult in Rwanda because jobs were hard to find if you were not a citizen. His family was resettled in the United States in 2021. He will graduate this June, and his goal is to attend college and study engineering.



Tamim Solhadost, is an Afghan Refugee in the USA. He has been in the USA for a year. He was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. He graduated from Abdul Hadi Dawi High school in 2018 and then attended Kabul University. Tamim played Soccer in Afghanistan, a sport he has played for over 14 years. In Afghanistan Tamim worked for the Ministry of Defense. Tamim is currently working for Atomic, a financial tech company, as a Quality Assurance Associate.



Alexandra Zubko is 27 years old and is Ukrainian. She didn’t have plans to leave her country, even after the war began. This changed when she met a good person who gave her a new perspective. Now she loves this area and appreciates how Americans have helped and prayed for her country. Alexandra is a master in the sport of bodybuilding and has also had 10 years’ experience in a beauty salon. She hopes to find a way to continue her interests in Utah but is also opened to learning other skills. She would also like to find a way to help her friends who are fighting now for freedom in Ukraine.

MODERATOR – Robert Skinner


Robert Skinner is currently serving as the Deputy Director and Chief of Partnerships and Global Engagement in the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Global Communications. He previously served as Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Washington D.C. and as Senior Special Advisor in the UN’s Department of Global Communications, focusing on the UN’s COVID-19 Communications Response Initiative. He also spent time as the Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. Prior to joining the UN, Skinner was the Executive Director in the New York Office of the United Nations Foundation. Before joining the Foundation in 2006, Skinner held several positions in the United States Department of State, including as Deputy Spokesperson at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York, and as Public Affairs Officer for the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He also held posts in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and San Salvador, El Salvador. Robert was an attorney in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Chicago, Illinois before starting his diplomatic career. Skinner holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oakland University in the United States.