“The AFS Youth Assembly represents an invaluable platform where I can amplify the voices of young people, advocate for global issues, and collaborate with like-minded individuals to drive positive change on a global scale.”
Jacquelline Nyakunu, a passionate SDG advocate, acclaimed poet, and student leader, is a sophomore at Davidson College. Majoring in Physics with an English minor on the pre-med track, her journey as a changemaker began in high school. Using her public speaking and creative talents, she champions youth empowerment, climate justice, and human rights, becoming a prominent figure in Zimbabwe’s youth-driven change movement.
In 2021, Jacquelline founded “SuRGZim” (Startup for Rural Girls Zimbabwe), an initiative aimed at eradicating deeply ingrained gender inequalities in Zimbabwe, with a specific focus on ending early child marriages and teenage pregnancies. She has empowered hundreds of girls via support groups. Recognizing that financial pressures often lead to early marriages, Jacquelline initiated projects to promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship among young Zimbabwean girls. Jacquelline’s commitment to driving change extends beyond empowering young girls.
In 2023, she established the “Young Writers Hub,” a collective of impassioned youth dedicated to addressing Zimbabwe’s social, political, and economic challenges through their literary works. Through their writing, they challenge those in positions of authority and inspire citizens to confront pressing youth-related issues, such as high unemployment and limited healthcare access. Jacqueline’s remarkable contributions have earned her numerous accolades, including being a certified 2019 High School Debate Champion, recipient of the 2023 R. Windley Hall Writing Award, 2023 Youth Assembly Delegate, and winner of the 2023 AFS Global Educators Scholarship, among other noteworthy recognitions.