When a group of our girls met with Carondelet Social Studies Chair Phil Miller, they may have never imagined a program that would become a hidden gem of international debate. For those unaware of Model United Nations, it seems easy to simply go to its website and read about a forum designed to help high school students "hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research." But at its core is a rigorous series of debates that pit students from around the United States and the world against others in civil dialogue and robust linguistic maneuvering that requires students to bring others to their point of view and find the compromise of good statesmanship.
This year's Harvard Model Congress was no different as nearly 400 students from across the United States and around the world descended on San Francisco to assume the role of congressional leaders, senators, and important government officials to engage in vigorous, civil debate. Over the course of three days, Carondelet students found themselves in notable positions. Our students received three Honorable Mentions and three of the highest awards possible, Best Delegate. Only 15% of participants have a chance to actually win an award. Carondelet's 15 delegates won 6 of the 55 total awards possible. Carondelet's Christina Abudayeh earned the highest award of Best Delegate for her 3-day performance. For closing ceremonies, a speech contest was held and Christina was one of three speakers chosen to address the entire delegation of nearly 400 students
Asked about the experience, Mary Siemons '21 said, "Harvard Model Congress was an amazing experience and so different than anything I've ever done. I was able to talk about interesting political issues with other students from all over the world."
Model United Nations is one of the clubs at Carondelet that allows students to develop the type of skills necessary for college success and to develop well-rounded thinkers who may one day serve the highest offices of the land.
Congratulations to Phil Miller and all the students who participated in this year's Harvard Model Congress.
- Best Delegate Awards: Christina Abudayeh, Laura Bocek, and Ellen Bezanson.
- Honorable Mentions: Mary Siemons, Nicole Abudayeh, and Alli Lowe.