Eight Waynflete students, representing every class in the Upper School, are rigorously preparing to attend the Harvard International Model UN conference to be held in Boston the end of January, our fifth appearance there. Representing the Republic of Georgia in the Economic and Social Council (EcoSoc), students have written position papers on topics as diverse as resettlement of refugees to hydraulic fracking to the historic human rights crisis in the Congo in 2001.
Senior Jonas Maines, the only student to have been to Harvard before, has this to say about the conference: “To be surrounded by thousands of people who share my interests and passions, and to have intelligent, sharp conversations and debates is what keeps pulling me back year after year. “
He and all of his peers were selected based on their excellent (and recognized) participation in Maine’s Model UN Conference in previous years. Freshman Payton Sullivan even won an award last year as a Middle School student! Her take on the experience: “The opportunity to discuss current events and propose solutions to relevant and pressing global issues with students from countless schools is invaluable.” She will be analyzing environmental issues with Gemma Laurence ’15, another Maine Model UN enthusiast: “Model UN was an opportunity to research relevant global issues, and to connect with hundreds of other high schoolers who are devoted to these issues, informed, and often hilarious. I learned how to cooperate and work successfully with people with different opinions than mine, which is valuable skill. Model UN was a chance to step out of my comfort zone, debate, collaborate, and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Kat Thomas, Cooper Bramble, and Michael Michaelson will be representing the Class of 2016, with Isabel Canning on board for the Class of 2017. Her position on the importance of Model UN: “It gave me a motivation and responsibility to be updated and more aware of what’s going on in the world. Model UN can bring out a confident and competitive side that you may not know was there.”
Confident and competitive they are indeed. We are looking forward to the experience!