Model UN at UM: How Leadership Sealed their Victory


Donated By Karina Garcia

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor

 “Model UN is a way for teenagers like myself to express themselves in diplomatic proceedings, while also immersing them within situations that forces them to think on their toes and work with others to reach a goal.” Junior Gavin Poore recalls his experience in political science, as the winner of the Best Delegate award at the latest Model UN competition at the University of Miami. Gavin and his sponsor, Mr.Schwartz, recognize that teamwork and dedication were the driving force that led to his and the school’s success over the weekend. 

   Model UN is a creative outlet to showcase students’ knowledge on political science, debate, and teach them how to conduct themselves at competitive events. The team, composed of 4 delegates from PPCHS, participated in MICSUN—an annual conference held at the University of Miami. One of these delegates, and sophomore Karina Garcia, shared some of her favorite moments from the event. “While I normally have a partner for my committee type, this time it was single delegations; yet, it allowed me to improve my individual skills which I plan to then carry forward.”

   Karina also recognizes how important the leadership qualities of her sponsor, Mr.Schwartz led them to this great achievement—including her 4th place award of Verbal Commendation. “Through teamwork and coordination, we have improved in a competition setting and as a team. In terms of experience and preparation—regardless of whether this was your 3rd or 7th conference—we were all able to work on our individual skills and grow as a team.”

   Mr.Schwartz, however, argues that all of the recognition should go to his delegates. Though they’ve been preparing for this moment for weeks, the Model UN advisor is beyond appreciative of the determination and commitment his students have shown throughout this school year. “While the expectations were high, and we were competing against some of the top schools in the country, most of our team is very young. A lot of them have only begun competing this year, so placing high in these categories was more unexpected than expected at all. But at the end of the day, they each put tremendous work into preparing for this moment.”

   As one of the award-winners, Gavin Poore, the recipient of the Best Delegate prize at the University of Miami UN Conference, shared what led to his own success. However, Gavin suggests that the key is to build connections with his fellow delegates over simply depending on his own skill. “Amongst the other delegates, I strived to maintain cordial relations with everyone and work collaboratively to pass impactful bills and directives. I also believe prioritizing the inclusivity of others’ creativity made me stand out, as I did not try to be selfish and dominate.”

   Another award winner, Aarohi Bali, took home the award for Outstanding Delegate. However, her strategies for winning focused on applying the skills she’s learned while working with Mr.Schwartz. The sophomore expressed, “I had spent time prior to the competition to be well-prepared on topic and my country’s perspective. In the Conference, I worked hard to stand out by ensuring my voice and ideas were heard, along with doing the same for other Delegates. We were able to collaborate effectively and create a plan to successfully solve our committee’s issue, which was the current global Water Crisis. It also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and gain confidence to achieve any goal that I put my mind to.”

   In terms of upcoming events like this one, Mr.Schwartz knows that his students will be able to motivate themselves in their own individual journeys in Model UN. “It’s all about stamina, stamina, stamina. They’ve definitely proven what they’re capable of, and hopefully we’ll be able to place again at FIMUN [a competition at Florida International University, one of the top schools in the country] and we should be more than prepared for it.”

   Throughout the course of seminars, conferences, and debates, Charter’s team was able to bring home yet another award—making a name for themselves and their school. And in Karina’s words, showing leadership whenever given the opportunity, makes the difference between a winning school and not. “Taking an initiative to help others—especially those in which this was their first conference—was definitely a determining factor. Although, ultimately, showing kind sportsmanship and remaining polite even during conflict, truly led to the victory.”