HMTCA Model UN Club Excels at Yale Conference
In the fall of 2016 a group of 10 students from the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy participated in the Model United Nations Conference at Yale University for the first time. Many of these students had first learned about Model UN in 8th grade when they attended a conference hosted by the Kingswood-Oxford School. After attending the conference in middle school, the HMTCA students proposed starting a high school Model UN Club.
The first year was a disaster. Students struggled to learn the Model UN protocols, they had difficulty researching and writing position papers and they barely scraped together the money and the confidence to attend a conference at MIT in Boston. The day they were scheduled to leave there was a snow storm and school was canceled. They missed their transportation to Boston and lost all of the hard-earned money they’d paid to MIT. It looked like the club was doomed to fail. But in their second year of existence, the original founders of the club fought back. They were determined to learn the specialized format of Model UN committee procedures, they researched their country of Vietnam and wrote numerous position papers on global issues and Vietnam’s unique perspective. They registered with the Yale Model UN, thanks to a generous scholarship from the university. And then they organized car pools to and from New Haven each late night and early morning (they couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel overnight for the 4-day conference).
They were overwhelmed by their experience. They attended mini-lectures by Yale Professors about the status of various problems in the world. They debated with and befriended students from around Connecticut and the world about hot issues and worked on finding and writing resolutions. They fell in love with the process and the seriousness of working creatively on real world problems. And then they brought this love and energy back to share with their school community. They taught their classmates and their teachers, their parents and their siblings about Model UN, and how students could work at helping to make the world a better place. Now they were really determined to make their Model UN Club a success.
In their third year, they had plans to raise more money and hopefully stay in a hotel like most of the other students at the conference. They had bake sales, raked lawns, and did extra chores at home to earn money. They invited siblings and other classmates to join their newly created club. They taught each other how to use Model UN protocol and organized practice sessions after school and even on the weekend. They helped each other research Pakistan and peer edited their position papers. They discussed what to wear and what not to wear at the conference. They brainstormed public speaking techniques and ways to have courage and confidence when confronted with expectations outside their comfort zone. Most importantly, they pulled together as a team, united to communicate and cooperate in a public arena, their knowledge of the world and their role in helping to create a better future.
And to top it all off, student Maitreyi Subedi brought home the “Best Delegate’ award for her committee. It truly took a team effort for HMTCA to be able to compete and receive recognition at such a high level.
Congratulations, HMTCA Model UN Club! To learn more about HMTCA, click here.