Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Model United Nations


Shannon Kilcoyn

Having been in Model United Nations for two years, the teachers and students have taught me more than I could have ever hoped for when entering the program. As we all know, the Model United Nation’s purpose in this school is to give the students a new knowledge of world countries and their unique cultures and customs. What happens is each group chooses a country to represent at a conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Throughout the year, the students participating in it, research the conditions, religions, politics, people and the all around life style of their country and their way of civilization. During my first year of Model UN, I chose to represent Egypt. Now be honest, when you think of Egypt you imagine mummies and Cleopatra in their golden pyramids. Yeah, so did I. That is until I really began researching the life of an average person. The poverty in Egypt is so extreme, that every one in four children are born into a poor family. When I think about everything I learned about my last year’s choice, Egypt, and this year’s choice, Pakistan, I know that if I were to have never joined, I can I honestly say that if someone were to walk up to me and start rambling on about either country I probably would have said that they really need to get a life and stop bugging me about other country’s problems. But that’s just the thing. Knowing that maybe just a year of learning about a country could not only broaden my view of world issues and conflicts, but also make me really stop to think about how I could make a difference, even if it is just giving a few bucks here and there to different organizations that raise money for such predicaments like Pakistan’s earthquake or, closer to home, Hurricane Katrina, helps me to see a whole new side to Model UN, and one of the best reasons to join. At last year’s conference, I remember one girl more than anything. The thing that stuck out the most about her was her astonishing speaking skills and her confidence in front of an audience of 100s of students she had never seen in her life. During her 10 minutes of fame, all I could think about is how much I envied her for her lack of nerves and her glowing confidence. But then I thought, hey, what does this girl have that everyone else doesn’t? Nothing but great self-esteem!  Anyways, the point is that after watching that girl get up there and show what she was made of, I really began to work at my confidence in front of an audience. Can you tell? Another aspect of it is that when we go to the conference, and all of the backboards, foods, and native attire are displayed, you really get a feel for the countries. When you think about it, it’s really like the world in one big room with hundreds of countries summarized into about three feet of space and one backboard. The last thing I must point out is that when you leave Model United Nations, you come out with tons of new friends with many different interests and even diverse cultures, but all with one thing in common; your growing affection of learning about your world, and how you can make a difference of lives of neighboring nations. In summary, I must say that joining this group of well educated and dedicated teachers and students was one of the best choices I have made and I know that I could never look back upon this experience and regret my decision. If you are ever given the chance of expanding your knowledge, while improving society, take it, because you are only given one life to make a difference.