University of Central Florida undergraduate student Sarah Kelliher will be at the United Nations in New York on Friday to discuss gender, disabilities and how technology has the capability of empowering people everywhere.
Kelliher is a marketing major who has been part of Limbitless Solutions at UCF for the past year. The organization provides children around the world with prosthetic arms that not only function, but also give them the opportunity to express their personalities through creative designs.
“It’s an honor to be able to speak to a global audience,” Kelliher says. “It’s a great personal and professional experience for me, because I get to represent Limbitless and UCF in such an amazing way.”
Kelliher is part of a panel presentation that includes Akiko Ito, chief of Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The two will share the stage with Limbitless president Albert Manero, Karon Bryson-Emmert, of St. Augustine, and her 14-year-old daughter Annika who received a Limbitless arm in 2015.
The group was invited to present as part of the Ideagen’s Empowering Women and Girls 2030 Summit in New York this week. Ideagen, a non-governmental organization, hopes to encourage a discussion about gender-based issues that are prominent in society. The summit brings a diverse selection of leaders and innovators from industry, nonprofit, and public leaders together to propose solutions and discuss relevant topics. Microsoft president Kate Johnson and Build-A-Bear head of information technology Michael Early have spoken at previous summits.
This week’s event addresses several issues that the U.N. has identified in its 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The goals are to:
- achieve gender equity and empower all women and girls
- promote sustained and inclusive economic growth and productive employment for all, including people with disabilities
- reduce inequality within and among countries building on the principle of leaving no one behind
Limbitless was invited to participate because of its mission and belief that technology can help equalize the playing field and build a more inclusive community. This is the second time Manero has presented at the U.N.
“We are so excited to be able to share our story on this inclusive global stage,” Manero said. “We believe that no matter where you end up, your voice can empower those around you. You can make a difference. You can have impact.”
Kelliher says she is eager to hear Annika present at the gathering.
“Annika does so much in her own community to empower others,” she says. “I can’t wait to hear more about that and how Limbitless has empowered her to become such a strong advocate for others in the limb-difference community.”