By Hannah MacDonald, Global Issues Division Head.
The story of how LCA’s Model UN team came to be is nothing less than a rollercoaster of emotions. After formulating a team which consisted of dropouts and add ins just a week before the conference, chaotic meetings and overwhelming states of confusion, the delegates of LCA forged through obstacles and surpassed limitations, emerging as true leaders of Winchester’s Model UN conference. The creation of this unexpected team is one for the books, so embark with me on a journey tracing the first steps of LCA’s Model UN team and America’s future leaders. The team has already heralded two Delegation awards in its infancy and contains an overwhelming excitement for the adventures to come.
In January of 2019, Hannah MacDonald embarked on her mission to create a team that would take a leap of faith and try this thing called Model UN. While she had absolutely no idea what the club would look like, what Model UN even was, or how conferences operate, she declared that she was going to do her research and just “see what happens.” After getting an approval from administration, organizing thoughts with Mrs. Noh, and speaking with Ms. Lujan, Mr. Scaro, and Mr. Patrie about being faculty advisors, Hannah assembled her first team meeting. Looking into the faces of 11 eager kids, she explained right before March break what the process was going to look like and how the young team would only have a month to research and prepare for their April conference. Following the meeting, everyone dispersed into a much needed break and reconvened just two weeks before the big day.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking–this seems like very poor timing, and yes, you’re absolutely correct. With panicking kids and the start of shifting names and numbers, the team quickly had to figure out how to get everything organized and prepare for the imminent conference. Still, with nobody really understanding what they were in for, MacDonald pressed everyone to keep working and the conference would serve as a necessary trial and run. With no intentions of winning and simply a desire to understand what Model UN is, the looming confusion over how a 10 hour day of debating human trafficking would be facilitated ran rampant in the kids’ minds. Nonetheless, the team forcefully pressed on, and woke up on April 7th ready to represent their school at LCA’s first Model UN conference in over 10 years.
With Ms. Lujan standing beside the delegates as their fearless leader, the group entered the auditorium–or at the time known as the General Assembly Hall for the Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian committee (SOCHUM). As the day progressed, the team’s nerves gradually went away. With Anna-Austin Wellman starting LCA off with speeches, the team continued to undergo a series of “Moderated” Discussions, “Unmoderated” discussions, speeches, debates, resolution planning and paper writing. Finishing the day, Charlotte Moore and Jillian Stevens gave strong speeches representing their group’s position on the Human Trafficking crisis. With all odds against this novice team, the delegates represented LCA proudly as they proceeded into the awards ceremony.
With all the committees back in the hall for the ceremony, the SOCHUM committee was the first to receive awards. With 60 students in this specific general assembly, around 8 were given awards. Beginning with Best Position Paper, MacDonald was invited on stage to receive her award for her representation of the Islamic State of Afghanistan on how to address the Human Trafficking crisis. Immediately following that, Stevens received Honorable Delegate for her outstanding performance throughout the conference for her public speaking and leadership skills. The team shared an overwhelming excitement for these victories and came home enthusiastic to share their experience with the rest of LCA. With maturity, eagerness, and a desire to grow the program, every member of the team is coming back in 2019/2020 ready for a triumphant season!
**Applications are available at the front desk. Please talk to Hannah MacDonald or Ms. Lujan if you’re looking for more information.