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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In 2021, over 25,000 young leaders on 2,000+ campuses across 153 nations applied to join the Class of 2021. 136 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 2,000+ Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2021 is bold, innovative, and inclusive.



Koç University | İstanbul, Turkey | Advancing SDG 5 & UNAI 3


" As a person focused on creating impact globally, I believe Millennium Fellowship gives me the tools and strength to reveal my potential as a changemaker. In addition, being one of the fellows will introduce me to different changemakers, which will motivate me to work harder for a better, fairer world while focusing on gender equality. Its framework built on SDGs allows us to embrace different problems horizontally and solve them with solidarity. I am excited to be a part of the cohort and learn from my peers throughout our Fellowship journey. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Aware-IST

Aware-IST aims to reach high school students and target reducing discrimination based on gender. The high school era is important for achieving true information about sexuality and gender, yet education considering these topics are not provided by the schools as they are considered out of the norms of Turkey. Therefore, adding the fact that these schools already have gender discriminative traditions, students are not able to get informed or change the current discriminative order.

Aware-IST specifically targets public high schools with higher entrance scores in Istanbul, as their students are capable of learning and accessing gender equal norms and their demographic profile includes students from other cities as they have dormitories. Therefore, with the specific target high school, Aware-IST will reach students from different backgrounds of income, ethnicity, religiosity, and region, etc., and will become a non-discriminative project. We will be reaching students who will efficiently use this opportunity to develop their knowledge and consciousness, despite that their current awareness level is surprisingly low.

With the Aware-IST project, students will receive different workshops and pieces of training from experts in different fields. 7 weeks-long project will consist of topics such as "my body and sexuality", "being a teenage LGBTQI" etc.

By December 2021, we aim to finalize the training and workshop materials with for high schoolers. In Turkey, finalizing the negotiations with governmental agencies can be challenging, especcially when it comes to the gender breaking events. So, in order to reach a minimum of 100 students in the coming months, we will be preparing the necessary atmosphere for a free, and impactful project, and maximize the impact creation for the next phases of the project.

About the Millennium Fellow

Deniz Aycan is an ambitious Turkish student who believes in the power of positive thinking. She is currently a senior at Koç University, one of the best universities in Turkey, and majoring in International Relations with a full scholarship. She also holds a double major in Economics and a minor in Sociology. From the first day of the university, she focused on creating impact and maximizing her contribution to the world. She took different leadership positions in initiatives, social projects in sustainability, refugee protection, animal rights, and gender equality. Rising inequalities based on gender in Turkey caused her to step forward and form the team for the Aware-IST project. With this project, she aims to raise awareness of gender discrimination and target high schoolers. She is a fellow of KU Global Aid and KU Global Learning and Leadership for Sustainability. She participated in different international programs in Germany, Bosnia, Brazil and Hong Kong. She wants to focus on the intersectional policies regarding sustainable development and environmental governance in the following years while pursuing graduate studies.

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