New Rochelle High School was one of only a handful of high schools from across the United States to send a delegation to the Change the World Model United Nations (CWMUN) conference on March 29 - 30 in New York City. Nine students from the New Rochelle Model United Nations Club traveled to Manhattan and the actual United Nations for this year's event. They engaged in debate with fellow high school students from around the globe on major issues of the international political agenda.
CWMUN is an annual meeting of more than 3,500 students from many nations, which provides collaborative, educational opportunities focused on contemporary global matters. Students were arranged into committees with titles such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and Economic and Social Council. They debated topics ranging from youth employment in agriculture as a sound solution to ending hunger and poverty in Africa, to assuring and fostering reconstruction and sustainable development in post-conflict areas.
Students worked together to brainstorm solutions in much the same way the UN's real world forum operates, encouraging students to engage with, and gain unique perspective on, these key geopolitical issues.
"The students were excited to be placed in the same committees and committee rooms as real-life members of the United Nations," said club faculty adviser and social studies teacher Ms. Lauren Jackson. "It's amazing to watch students as they become inspired with hands-on learning of social studies in the field. It helps them put to use all of the skills we try so hard to make them see the relevance of: research, writing, public speaking and debate. It's cool for them to realize that these skills are actually fun!"
CWMUN, and Model UN clubs in general, help students interested in international politics and social issues develop leadership, research, writing, and public speaking skills. Model UN students also develop an early expertise in problem solving, working together to build consensus through mediation and negotiation, conflict resolution and the ability to rapidly build friendly and profitable relations among people.
"I'm so thankful we were able to find two supportive and amazing advisors, Ms. Jackson and Ms. Generoso, to help us revive the high school club," said student Carly Rieger, who had been an active member of the Model United Nations Club at Albert Leonard Middle School, and who worked to reorganize the club this year. "We went to our first conference in NYC and had the exciting opportunity to have committee sessions in the actual UN! Hopefully, this club continues to grow, because we have so many ideas for years to come."