Purpose: Rotary International has a long and proud association with the United Nations — with Rotarians involved in its charter, and having the highest consultative status of any nongovernmental organization. Through participation in Rotary District 5340’s Model UN program, high school students from all over the county and beyond are exposed to and develop an understanding of international affairs and foreign policy, role-playing as “UN Ambassadors” to a UN country they previously knew nothing about. In the process, they will learn and then demonstrate valuable life skills (research, debate, conflict resolution, leadership, public speaking, critical thinking, teamwork, creativity, etc.). The experience can help them prepare for and get into college. It can change the direction and outcome of a student’s future. And, not least, they will have fun!
Activities/Responsibilities: There are many different opportunities for involvement. The program begins with a half-day training session in January, and continues through the two-day weekend conference in March. Your greatest opportunity for impact would be to serve as an Advisor to a team of two students. (This past year 34 student teams participated in the conference.) After the training, you’d help your students prepare for their roles at the conference, probably meeting with them (in person or virtually) about six times, plus joining them at the conference. Other, less intensive roles include serving as liaison to “our” schools, recruiting relevant speakers, and helping with preparations for the culminating conference. Also, a member(s) could arrange for a practice session among students from two or three of the schools our club is supporting in the MUN program.
Why Join: The Model UN program has such huge potential to change young people’s lives! Particularly among students who lack an adult at home to expose them to the larger world we live in, learning about that world view and then having to take an active stand, and defend that stand, but be willing to compromise so that you can hold onto the piece that’s most important…wow. And you, committee member, will be so amazed and so proud! For more details about Model UN, go to www.modelunrotary5340.com.