Niceville girl’s peace speech to be broadcast live from UN
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Niceville girl’s peace speech to be broadcast live from UN

A Northwest Florida Daily News Special

Original article can be found here:

Public speaking is listed as Americans’ number one fear. For Niceville High School junior Ally Woodard, that has never been the case.

Since the age of 9, Woodard has spoken to Philippine politicians in Asia, a banquet full of stars like Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington in New York City, and as a featured TEDx presenter in California, to name just a few. On Tuesday, her audience will be a bit larger – the whole world.

As part of the Peace Day Global Broadcast streaming live from the United Nations, Woodard will join global dignitaries, actors and musicians to share her personal message of peace. Guests include UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, former President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafazi, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Angelina Jolie.

“I was honored beyond words,” Woodard said. “It’s a dream come true to be invited to be part of this event and be able to talk about the UN, peace, and the children I’ve met around the world.”

Bill McCarthy, founder of Unity Foundation and one of the broadcast’s executive producers, invited Woodard to participate in the event after watching her speak at the February opening of The Muramid Mural Museum in California.

“We invited Ally because of her significant work as a youth ambassador for the Art Miles Murals Project,” McCarthy said.

Ally discovered her passion a few years ago when she attended a UN conference on global economic and social injustice with her mentor, Joanne Tawfilis, who is the Art Miles founder and a former UN diplomat.

“Participating with Joanne made me realize I want to be a voice for the least fortunate people in the world,” Woodard said.

McCarthy said he has no doubt that Woodard can make an impact, citing “her extensive travels around the globe giving a voice to the needs of the world’s children.”

Will she be nervous as her speech is broadcast around the globe?

No, she said.

“I just hope we can begin to make a difference that day,” Woodard said. “I think we would all agree we could desperately use some peace in the world.”