Oneida students speak for ‘thousands’ in Washington

Oneida—Two Oneida Baptist Institiute students participated in an Action/2015 launch event in Washington, D.C. in January.

Aisha Biyo was involved in the food and agriculture team and Tolu Sola-Adeyemi aided the energy team. Sola-Adeyemi was also chosen to speak for her team at the State Department. 

Biyo and Sola-Adeyemi met with Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higgenbottom and Administrator of USAID Rajiv Shah.

After the meeting, they were interviewed by NBC News, had lunch with Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, and Michael Elliott, president and CEO of ONE Campaign, and attended a meeting at The World Bank with Cyril Muller, vice president, external and corporate relations.

Tolu was interviewed by National Public Radio after returning to campus.

Biyo said that the conference was “one of the best opportunities I could have had.” She continued, “Being an advocate really opened my eyes. When we talked with the Deputy Secretary of State and Dr. Shah, I realized I wasn’t speaking for myself, but for thousands of other people.”

Oneida was invited to be involved through one of their faculty members, Jonathan Barnes, a congressional district leader for ONE Campaign, a group participant in Action/2015.

The One Campaign forms teams around the world of 15 students each, all 15 years old, who meet with national leaders on Jan. 15. They were to encourage these influential leaders to continue progressing on the goals set by the Millennium Challenge in 2000—a challenge to eliminate extreme poverty by the year 2030. This year marks the halfway point.

Action/2015 is a worldwide coalition of organizations that encourage governments to make commitments to end poverty, address inequality and ensure sustainable development involving more than 1,000 organizations in 125 countries. (Oneida)