UN Internships

Summer Student Internship at the United Nations

Since 1995 the Temple of Understanding has implemented its commitment to education of young people by hosting a Summer Internship at the United Nations.  High School students from different parts of the USA as well as many countries, spend five intensive weeks  learning about the United Nations by attending open meetings of the Security Council, the General Assembly and their various Committees. This program launches their careers as global citizens who care about the humanitarian goals embraced by the UN. Each year they chose a topic for research that they are passionate about and give a presentation at the end of the program. Application process for 2016 program begins October 5, 2015.

2015 UN Interns

2015 UN Summer Interns & Staff

Some of the presentations from the 2015 interns are presented below:

2015 Intern Mosque Visit

Site Visit- Mosque, New York City

In the summer of 2014, our interns looked at a number of timely  issues under discussion at the UN. Here are the topics they chose to present on.

Annie Abruzzo – UN Peacekeeping missions
Robert Borek – Education in conflict zones
Gea Bozzi – Human trafficking
Julia Byrne – MDG 6
Isabelle Davis – sexual violence against women in the Middle East
Priya Gada – changes in the laws of war
Noah Gelles – Children and armed conflict
Matthew Grillo – UN micro finance program
Yervand Melkonyan – Biowarfare
Teddy Neuman – Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Dylan Peer – environmental sustainability
Luke Pramberger – child mortality in third world countries
Regina Soriano – women’s rights
John Kim – Sustainable development


2013 saw 20 young people whose chosen issues fall into three categories: Human Rights Violations, the Millennium Development Goals 3,7 and 8 and Civil Unrest .  The executive summary of their topics are reproduced here. The Millennium Development Goals that students use as a guideline for their topics are:

Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Achieve Universal Primary Education
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Reduce Child Mortality
Improve Maternal Health
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Disease
Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Develop a Global Partnership for Development


In 2013, interns looked at a number of important and timely issues. Here are the summaries of their power point presentations.

  1. Women’s Rights
  2. The Environment
  3. Trade and Natural Resources
  4. Human Rights
  5. Civil Unrest


These research topics chosen by the students are of contemporary importance each year and were on the summer agenda for the United Nations. See presentations from 2010 and 2011 below.


What Interns have to say about their experience:

“First, I would like to thank you again for all that you did to make the UN internship possible.  I have fully taken advantage of the “bragging rights” that Mr. Gelles mentioned, and practically everyone at Nightingale is now clamoring to apply next year!  I even invited Mr. Josh Black from the US Mission to be a guest speaker at Nightingale, and he was the most dynamic, engaging, and popular speaker we have ever had.  I think I am realizing even more now what an amazing and unique opportunity I had this past summer.  When I looked up the UN journal a few weeks ago, I wished I could have been there for all the important meetings about ISIS and terrorism, especially when all the presidents came from all around the world!  I know that I would not be so privileged to have had this opportunity without all your hard work with the Temple, and for that, thank you.”   ~ Annie-2014

un internshipsIn retrospect the internship at the UN was one of the most moving, intellectually stimulating, and fun activities I have ever participated in. I was so intrigued at all the speakers and meetings we saw that I feel the internship has changed my views on worldwide politics and numerous major issues including climate change and many more. Additionally, I feel it has made me more interested in careers in NGOs and foreign policy. I want to extend another thank you to you and everyone at the Temple for allowing me to experience such an amazing internship.” ~ Christopher – 2010

Thank you for allowing me to be part of something so extraordinary. I can confidentlysay that during these past weeks I learned more than I ever thought possible. Not only did I learn about the issues the world is facing, I also awoke to my deepest passions for life.” ~ Besa-2010

It was an experience that broadened my horizons and one I will surely never forget.” ~ Bobby-2010

2011 Interns at The UN

I take with me a long and rich experience….. I realize, as you no doubt do, that we hold differing ideologies and viewpoints, but I have learned that such differences bring about discussion and dialogue – whether interfaith or international or simply interesting.” ~ Brian

Through the meetings at the UN, our smaller meetings at the Temple and each other’s final presentations, I was able to gain insight and perspective that I know will be useful in my academic work, but more importantly, in becoming a responsible global citizen.” ~ Kelsey-2010

The lessons I learned and new viewpoints to which I was exposed by the Temple staff and at the UN are truly innumerable. I hope to incorporate what I have learned into my life with the intention of becoming even more of a global citizen. The program you have created for students my age is remarkable and unparalleled.” ~ Kristen-2010


Internship Presentations 2010

Internship Presentations 2011

The Developing WorldHow Global Poverty is Addressed by the UNPolice BrutalityMaternal HealthChild SoldiersUN G2O Relations UN Project PresentationUN ICCPalestine-Israel RelationsSex TraffickingNorth Korea DisarmamentPeacekeeping UN Child HealthBirth RegistrationDrug TraffickingHealth Education in African NationsFinancial Institutions Response to Global EconomyPrimary Education of the Phillippines and Ethiopia