For those who ever wondered what goes on in the United Nations, answers might be found by asking one of the 35 YMCA Model United Nations delegates who attended the California State Model Untied Nation Summit at the Burbank Marriott over the weekend of May 2.
Over 600 middle school students traveled to the summit to participate in the reenactment of the United Nations. Over the last few months, students represented Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Egypt, Germany and Russia. They prepared country background papers, committee position papers, court memorials and non governmental documents to address a variety of international issues. During this process, the delegates learned about cultural diversity, world economics and global affairs, while increasing their public speaking, writing and negotiating skills.
Vince Iuculano, director of Youth & Teen Programs at the YMCA, was proud to announce that the delegation was responsible for three of the 11 resolutions passed during the summit.
Julian Kessel, who attends La Cañada 7/8, was elected president of the General Assembly; Brandon Kim, an eighth grader at St. James, was elected president of the International Court of Justice.
La Cañada 7/8 eighth grader Riley Owens was selected as the most outstanding ambassador of the General Assembly; Rosemont Middle School student Nick Peters was selected as the most outstanding ambassador of the International Court of Justice and Jacob Liss, a sixth grader at Paradise Canyon Elementary School was selected most outstanding ambassador of the ECOSOC.
Iuculano said, “It is no doubt that the [Crescenta Cañada Y] delegation has made a major statewide impact on the Model United Nations Program on both elections and for outstanding service in the program areas.”
Both Youth & Government and Model United Nations run during the school year and culminate with a trip that requires participants to actively use the information they have learned on a larger scale. In Youth & Government, students preside over all aspects of state government in Sacramento and have access to the Capital and Supreme Court chambers including Senate and Assembly floors. Model United Nations offers students the opportunity to participate in a statewide model UN Summit Conference. Both programs help students build self-confidence, public speaking and leadership skills. Both programs complement their schools’ social science curriculum.
Anyone interested in learning more can contact Vince Iuculano at (818) 352-3352 or Heather Hjelmervik at (818) 790-0123.