Brazil: Ms. Mayara Tavares, is 16 and lives in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She inherited from her grandmother and father a passion to take part in community action and social movements and has been an activist in her community fighting for children and adolescent rights.
She has recently acted as a community researcher interviewing other adolescents in the community about their lives and how it feels for them to be growing up in the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro.
Through this work she became part of a National Platform for the improvement of poor communities situated in large urban centers, an initiative carried out by UNICEF in Brazil.
She also became a member of the Youth Forum in her municipality and hopes that she can continue to engage her peers in this work.
Canada: Mr. Nigel Wodrich, 16, from London, Canada. School: Saunders Secondary School / Carpe Diem.
Reason for applying to J8: Interest in global issues/passion to contribute to their solutions; desire to get my voice heard. Languages spoken: English, French.
Role models: Pierre Trudeau, Nelson Mandela, my grandmothers. Likes: Running, playing piano, history/politics/world issues, meeting new people. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? In 10 years time, I see myself pursuing a post-secondary university education; however my passion will be in social activism.
China: Ms. Li Megyuhan, 14, from Beijing No. 4 High School, is involved in many activities. She has organized her classmates to take part in various Science competitions, with her own essay on maths earning a prize and getting media coverage.
She leads the school chorus, deciding what the group will sing along with another coordinator.
She is proud and happy to be representing the young people of her country, as an opportunity to open up her mind to the world, and to be a spokesperson for children all over the world.
Egypt: Ms. Amira Shendy is a 16 year old high school student from Cairo, Egypt. She joined a number of projects working in the field of development and human rights with governmental institutions like the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.
Through these projects she had the opportunity to learn about the United Nations and understand many concepts such as human rights and ways to defend them.
This is in addition to other life values and skills such as democracy, peace, teamwork and decision-making. Amira also participated in a variety of voluntary youth initiatives on issues such as smoking prevention.
France: Ms. Pauline Bossavie, 16, from Le Havre, France. School/team: Lycée Saint Joseph.
Reason for applying to J8: to exchange ideas with other young people and discuss what we can do to make our future better.
Languages spoken: English/ French/ Spanish Role models: Gandhi, sister Emmanuelle, M.L. King, Malcom X and Barack Obama Likes: playing basketball, laughing with my friends, challenges, listening to music, discovering new countries and cultures.
Hobbies: basketball / horseback riding What are you looking forward to most at the J8? Exchanging ideas with people of my age from other countries.
What do you hope to achieve from participating in J8 2009? A better understanding of all the subjects we will be discussing.
Germany: Ms. Johanna Elter, 17 from Nuremberg, Germany Place of birth: Fürth School/team: Willtätter-Gymnasium Nürnberg “Die Weltverbesserer”
Reason for applying to J8: I am interested in international politics. I am currently working with the “young greens” in Nuremberg. Languages spoken: German, English, French, Spanish Likes: Travelling, reading, nature and the animals.
My favourite subjects are chemistry, Spanish and maths. Hobbies: Aikido, drawing and painting, cycling in the nature, the Young Greens, reading and, of course, meeting my friends.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Studying chemistry or molecular science.
India: Ms. Sanjukta Pangi, 16, from Semiliguda, India. School/team: Government Girls High School, Pottangi
Reason for applying to J8: To gain knowledge and skills and to meet young people from other countries Languages spoken: English, Hindi, Oriya, Telegu Role models: Rahul Gandhi Likes/Hobbies: helping poor people, gardening, painting, singing
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? I see myself at Koraput as District Collector.
What are you looking forward to most at the J8? I want the leaders to know about what tribal girls are facing in India. For instance, my father did not want me to go to school, but when a girl in my village died from taking an overdose of medicine, because neither she or her parents could read, I managed to convince him to send me instead of staying home to take care of my brother and sister.
What do you hope to achieve from participating in the J8 2009? To meet young people from other countries and to know how they overcome their social and economic issues.
Italy: Ms. Camilla Grassi, 14, from Meda is the only child in her family. She is in her last year at a middle school and her favourite subjects are Science and Italian Literature.
She plays piano and writes award-winning poems. Camilla enjoys reading; her favourite authors are Isabella Allende and Bianca Pitzorno. She loves cats, listening to music, and watching movies. She likes traveling and visiting different countries during her summer vacation..
Japan: Ms. Moeko Fujii, 16, from Chiba, Japan School/team: Shibuya Kyoiku Gakuen, Shibuya High School
Reason for applying to J8: I love researching world issues, specifically for the Model United Nations.
As a Japanese representative, I would be able to meet with other young leaders of my generation. Languages spoken: English, Japanese
Role models: Eleanor Roosevelt Likes: Dancing, Model UN, Greek Mythology, History, books Hobbies: Fundraising, Chess, Painting Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Raising my voice to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
Mexico: Mr. Mario Alberto Martinez Fuentes, 17, from Mexico City, School/team: Cecytem Ecatepec I/ Parte y comparte
Languages spoken: Spanish, English Likes: Soccer, meeting new people and learning new things Dislikes: Onions and being thankless. Hobbies: football and video games
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? I hope to be a very intelligent person who supports the needs of people who need it.
What are you looking forward to most at the J8? Meeting new people and experiencing new cultures
What do you hope to achieve from participating in J8 2009? To gain a greater understanding of new cultures.
Russia: Angelica Isayeva is 17 years, she lives in Sochi. She won several academic awards. She speaks English and French, her favorite subjects are literature and history.
Angelica dreams of getting a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Her hobbies are staying fit, cooking and sewing.
South Africa: Richmond Sajini, 15, from Alexander Bay, South Africa. School/team: Alexander Bay High School Finalist in the Albert Luthuli Young Historians Prize and Girls’/Boys’ Education Movement Club member.
Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans, Setswana, Xhosa Role models: I am inspired by everyday people who do not let their background affect their future.
I am also inspired by my mother, a hard working single parent and one of the few women in the mining industry. Likes/Hobbies: I wouldn’t call my singing a pastime since I have been singing most of my life.
I enjoy public speaking and motivating others to do good.
Mellika Myers, United Kingdom: 16, London, Britain Born, Croydon. School/team: Haling Manor High School
Reason for applying to J8: The main reason I applied to the J8 was because I feel very passionate about world poverty and HIV/AIDS.
I hope I can learn what I can do to work on these issues.
Languages spoken: English
Role models: Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys Likes: People who are funny, to eat a lot. Hobbies: I like to go shopping, I also like to read. However most of all I like to socialise with my friends and family
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? In ten years time I see myself as a paediatric nurse. I would also like to set up my own charity.
What are you looking forward to most at the J8? I am looking forward to meeting new people and talking to them about the issues that affect them.
United States: Emmanuella Louisdor, 16, from North Miami, Florida, School/team: North Miami Senior High/ Global Pioneers
Reason for applying to J8: My local community is important to me and I always want to stay active and help in all the ways that I can.
Languages spoken: English, Creole
Role models: My grandmother Felia Joseph is my role model. She is one of the most amazing women that I have ever been blessed to be around.
Likes: I really like food and I not only I make it but I eat it as well. I also like all kind of music. Hobbies: I love to read.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? In ten years time I would have graduated from the university of my choosing and started my work as an advocate for children and families.