MIDDLETOWN – At just 18 years old, Katelyn Grano has been internationally recognized as an advocate for global peace.
The Mater Dei Prep senior was selected to become a member of the United Nations Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organization Youth Representatives Steering Committee, which is an international organization with a goal of securing global relations and sustaining peace-building initiatives, Grano said.
“Katelyn is an extraordinary individual who understands altruism on so many levels,” said George Anthony, head of the Mater Dei Prep Global Leaders Institute at the school that is located in Middletown.
“Peace building requires the dedication of pouring your heart and your efforts into creating positive change … We will benefit from her efforts as a result of her selection to the steering committee. The best is yet to come,” he said.
Grano, who is a resident of Middletown, said she owes her success to the curriculum that is offered by the Global Leaders Institute at Mater Dei Prep. She said the curriculum centers on the examination of key sustainable development goals, an outline for United Nations relations, to which Grano mentioned there are 17 goals.
Mater Dei Prep focuses on educating its students on the access to global education, peace-making, justice and procuring gender equality, among other fundamental components, she said.
Anthony said that in 2017, Grano led a United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) diplomatic training course at Columbia University, New York. He said the topic of discussion was “Conflict Resolution as a Weapon Against Poverty” and said Grano excelled at the training course.
The Core Diplomatic Training is a set of practice-oriented workshops that are provided to diplomats and other beneficiaries at major United Nations locations so individuals are able to perform more effectively in a multilateral environment, according to the UNITAR website.
Grano said she has also secured the position of co-chair at the the United Nations DPI Global Conference.
Along with her fellow classmates, Grano introduced the Mater Dei Prep Education Tool Kit at the International Day of Peace Conference that was held in September at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The tool kit is a comprehensive website Grano said was designed to help educate underprivileged youth, many of whom may be deprived of learning materials.
The online platform serves a global audience. A curriculum is being written for education levels between kindergarten and eighth grade, she said.
Anthony is a primary representative for Pathways To Peace, a global movement she said works to procure peace without boundaries among nations.
“As the primary representative for UN NGO Pathways To Peace, it was my responsibility to put together a team of professional individuals who can represent Pathways To Peace at numerous UN conferences held throughout the world. We have representatives in Africa, Europe and Asia. My focus was in New York. I wanted to incorporate young dynamic voices who share a vision of positive change and action,” Anthony said.
Anthony described Grano as a “powerful veteran of policy and leadership.”
Grano, who plans to attend Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in the fall, said she plans to double major in international business and environmental studies. Grano said she ultimately plans to pursue a legal degree.
Grano said she is incredibly humbled to have been chosen to represent the United Nations after being selected among a global-scale of qualified applicants. Only 10 students, who are between the ages of 18 and 32, were chosen by UN officials, she said.
Since Grano’s official appointment as a UN Pathway to Peace Economic and Social Council representative, Anthony has referred to the young woman as “a constant force” and “the voice of reason” behind the United Nations.