The Middle School Model United Nations program, a full-year curriculum implemented in schools with direction from the YMCA Youth in Government staff, helps participants expand their knowledge of global issues while also improving their debate and leadership skills. Students study and represent a particular country, create a “Festival of Nations” display, and write a resolution to be presented at the Model UN Conference. This year’s conference was held April 7th & 8th in Black Mountain, NC.
- SJCS students Emma Curran, Jessica Gerac, Michelle Peres and Polina Vertigel, representing the Republic of Chad, presented a resolution to construct a “model school” in order to provide educational opportunities for young women. Elizabeth Loudermilk, Rachel Marlar, Emily Mulholland and Ellie Mullins, representing Argentina, offered a resolution to request UN help with locust eradication in rural agricultural areas. Juan Gacha, Shivam Vadalia, Tyler Williamson and Matthew Willson, representing Israel, requested monetary assistance for the defense of areas prone to terrorist incursions and instability. Finally, Samuel Dobson, Russell Warren and Jeffrey Werth, representing Spain, requested monetary assistance to improve airport and homeland security as a means of combating international terrorism. Three of the countries had their resolutions successfully pass out of the initial committee levels, and the resolutions from Chad and Israel successfully passed the UN General Assembly, while Spain’s resolution passed the higher Plenary Session as well. The delegations from Argentina and Spain received awards for Outstanding Resolutions, and delegate Russell Warren was recognized as an Outstanding Delegate for the second consecutive year.
- For the first time ever, St. Joseph’s had two delegates—Russell Warren and Shivam Vadalia—selected to committee-level Clerk positions, and both delegates were also selected as the USA’s representatives on the Model UN Security Council, another first for the school.
- In addition to presenting and arguing for their respective resolutions, the students created informational displays on their countries that included authentic foods to sample, and also dressed in costumes from their respective countries during the “Festival of Nations.”
- Middle school faculty members Joel Brandon and Elaine Trakas served as the team’s moderators this year, working with the students during the semester to prepare for the conference as well as accompanying them to Black Mountain.