The Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute Shine at United Nations Conferences

Article Written By: Elizabeth Sheridan ‘20

On Tuesday, March 20, 2018 the Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute representing UN NGO Pathways To Peace attended the International Day of Happiness Conference at the United Nations.

The meeting was focused on improving the rate of happiness throughout the world through education, mental health, the workforce, and through the community. Selected Seraphs were fortunate to be in the company of high-ranking delegates from member countries of the Global Happiness Coalition, including Ambassadors and Representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Portugal. Each representative shared their country’s hope for a happier future and their ideas on how to better influence the future in a causal setting.

The meeting was a great success and the Mater Dei Prep Global Institute was able share its curriculum and strategies. Elizabeth Sheridan ‘20 also had the opportunity to personally work with HE Ambassador Penelope Beckles the Deputy Permeant Representative of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Anthony, head of the Global Leaders Institue, and Ms. Sheridan also had extensive conversations regarding Pathways To Peace and the Mater Dei Prep Global Institute with HE Durga Prasad Bhattarai the Ambassador to Nepal, Ambassador Darja Bavdaz Kuret of Slovania, and Ambassador Doma Tshering of Bhutan. Mr. Anthony also discussed effective strategies with Dr. John Helliwell, co-author with Dr. Jeffery Sachs of The World Happiness Report.

After the “International Day of Happiness Conference,” sixteen Mater Dei students, ranging from freshmen to seniors attended a DPI NGO Tuesday Chat Series "Achieving Social and Global Responsibility by Cultivating Peace Within." 

The event was sponsored by Pathways To Peace and moderated by Mr. George Anthony. It headlined leading experts Lily Grey, Ken Druck, and Robert Strock. Lily Grey, a representative liaison of UNESCO, spoke on her organizations hope for the future and shared some upcoming programs that are in the works. Dr. Ken Druck spoke to the attendees on cultivating their leader’s minds and hearts and working with the community to take ownership of their futures. “Every day is an opportunity to be kind,” said Dr. Ken Druck. 

Dr. Robert Strock, founder of the Global Bridge Organization, spoke to the attendees to identify and embrace their greatest challenges and turn them into positives. His talk focused on finding the place inside of you that is injured and healing it.  Mater Dei Prep students Katelyn Grano ‘18, Summer Schiappacasse ‘20, Maddie Ducsai ‘20, Camryn Brathwaite ‘21, Andrew Fremer ‘18 and Cuyler Flynn ‘21 all were recognized by the panel for their questions and observations.

 Katelyn Grano a Global Leader and UN Youth Representive stated, “As a high school student, it has come to my attention how increasingly important mental health and spirituality is. This chat series conference peeked into this topic. It talked about how we as high schoolers and young adults can deal with destructive, confrontational, or emotional situations. The presenters allowed the participants to engage and share many different methods that they use in their everyday lives, which gave us new insight and options on how to deal with issues individually and in group settings. As a group the Global Leaders of Mater Dei Prep were able to share our knowledge of mediation and conflict resolution with everyone. Our hope is that this will help even just one person” 

George Anthony was inspired by the attention and passion exhibited by the students in his program in addressing issues on mental well-being, conflicts on a domestic and international level, and playing a role towards sustainable health and well-being. Chika Efobi ‘21 drew applause when she addressed concerns between physical and emotional well-being and Maddie Ducsai ‘20 started a passionate discussion in bringing conflicting opponents to a place of compromise and dialogue. 

All students who attended found the series to be inspiring and are looking forward to their next opportunity to attend the Chat Series. This Chat Series can be viewed at

Mater Dei Prep students from The Global Leaders Institute played a prominent role throughout this conference. Between sitting side by side with Diplomats and Ambassadors and then meeting with world renowned experts in mental health and well-being, it was a very productive day in the life of a Mater Dei Prep Global Institute Leader.

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