Mount Madonna School’s Model United Nations (MUN) Club participated in its final assembly of the 2010-2011 school year on May 14-15 at UC Davis. Student participants in the meet were: Alyssa Feskanin, Ryley Devine, and Zoe Kelly, 8th grade; Graydon Griffin and Kavi Duvvoori, 10th grade; Blythe Collier, Lulu Morell-Haltom, and Palak Bhatnagar, 11th grade.
Blythe and Lulu were part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and participated in discussions about returning cultural artifacts, while Palak discussed poverty issues with other members of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Graydon paired with Ryley as part of the Security Council; while classmates Alyssa and Zoe were part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and discussed issues relating to the health of children and adolescents and response to natural disasters. Kavi, meanwhile, served as the lead general on a historical crisis war committee for North Korea.
The students received a surprise guest on during the Saturday assembly, Amy Neff, MMS’ middle school social studies teacher, showed up and watched the group in action and encouraged them. (UC Davis is Amy’s alma mater; and where, most recently, she completed her Masters degree in Education!).
While Blythe, Lulu, Palak and Ryley were all first-time participants and new to the Model U.N. forum, each shared that it was a meaningful and worthwhile experience.
“I think I learned on a few different levels,” says Blythe. “I learned about working with other people through the process of discussing topics and listening to their opinions. I learned that more effective solutions are made when people give each other opportunities to speak, and genuinely take in their perspectives and collaborate with their own. It didn’t work when delegates pushed their own personal opinions for the sake of winning the competition and ignored anybody else’s points.
I also learned about myself. I realized that there are so many issues in the world, that I would never feel like my life mattered if I didn’t work for change. I came out of Model U.N. with a hope of finding the specific issue among the many that I am most passionate about. I now know that wherever life takes me, be it a journalist or an event planner for nonprofits, I want to make a difference in the world and help others do the same. There are too many issues for us all to simply sit back and let others do the work.”
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Public Relations
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.