- Student Stories
Last winter, a group of Perkiomen students traveled to Washington DC to participate in American University’s Model United Nations Conference (AmeriMUNC). As a new member of Perkiomen’s Model UN team, I didn’t know what to expect. I had limited experience with Model UN, and I had never participated in a Crisis Committee before. Attending Model UN skills workshops offered before the first committee session allowed me to feel more confident going into the competition. However, I realized that it is nearly impossible to prepare for all aspects of a crisis.
The best way to learn is by doing. Research before the competition on my topic, addressing climate change in Kiribati, gave me background information, but I had to apply that research to unexpected problems. In addition to critical thinking, I learned the value of cooperation. Although we were competing against one another, every delegate in my committee had the same goal; we were all problem solvers, and we all wanted to help Kiribati in a way that would positively impact as many people as possible.
Nonetheless, I was proud when the committee chose my directives as the first ones to be passed. A unique aspect of Crisis Committees is that each directive passed is immediately incorporated into the simulation. The smallest details had the potential to vastly impact our experience. This proved to me that my actions matter and I can change our world. At AmeriMUNC, I spent the whole weekend solving climate change in Kiribati. In reality, little is being done to help this country. My favorite part of Model UN is that it contextualizes global events. I will continue to think about Kiribati long after the end of the conference.
Model UN Advisor Amanda Mock adds, “Students participating in Model UN have the opportunity to learn how diplomacy actually works in the world. What does it take to enact change, generate new policies, and problem solve the world’s greatest difficulties? Model UN allows students to find their voices and to learn how to advocate for productive forward motion in world affairs.”
By Megan Hughes ’21
Megan Hughes ’21 embodies Perkiomen’s motto of Solvitur vivendo – it is solved by living. On campus she serves as president of her class, a peer tutor, and writing center fellow. She is active in volleyball and lacrosse, as well as taking a full course load of seven classes in order to meet her academic goals, which include involvement in the Medical and Entrepreneur Institutes. She and her sister, Molly ’20, both day students, have brought bee hives to campus, creating a unique learning opportunity that the entire community has embraced. Research using the bees’ honey has led Hughes to place first – twice - in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Competition. Off campus, Megan has an interest in languages and global studies, spending a summer in Indonesia as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, and will attend The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Global and International Studies.
I understand that not everyone has access to the kind of educational opportunities that can be found at Perkiomen School. I am grateful to be here. Since I consider my education to be a gift, I feel I owe it to the people who make my education possible to take advantage of every opportunity available to me. Megan Hughes ’21