By Drew Wesson and Jake Wesson, Washburn High School Model UN members

Along with 50 other Washburn students, we participated in a 4-day conference in the heart of Chicago. Model United Nations of the University of Chicago drew delegates from all around the world.

As a part of Model United Nations, we attend conferences with students from around the world who have a similar interest in working collaboratively to solve world problems. We spent hours researching, then writing, our country's stances on issues. These issues could be Weapons of Mass Destruction or Data Privacy Laws. Once we’ve debated, we work with others to create a resolution. A resolution is a document that attempts to solve the problem. We then vote on that resolution. Debates can be intense.

Washburn was one of the largest delegations in attendance, representing different countries and domestic agencies. Fifty-two students attended, and we represented Malawi, Niger, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on various committees. Students also participated in special committees which simulated more specific historical or domestic topics such as citizenship for stateless peoples and expanding broadband access for underserved communities.

“I learned how important it is to be proactive about getting your voice across, especially in a room full of people just as passionate as you," Milla D., a Washburn High School senior said. Milla represented Saint Vincent and the Grenadines while discussing international cooperation when combating piracy.

Salma Y., a freshman at Washburn representing Niger, felt more confident when speaking in front of people following the conference. Maren P., a Washburn senior representing Serbia, was surprised at how many friendships she made with delegates from around the world.

Thank you to the Ann Bancroft Foundation and the John and Denise Graves Foundation for their support. We also couldn’t have done it without our dedicated chaperones and advisors.

For more information on our club, or if you’d like to follow along with our endeavors, check out our website and Instagram.