Romona's Kids: Students win Model UN awards
There might be a future Secretary of State or Ambassador at one local high school after some students brought home international awards this spring. We found this week's Romona's Kids in Cleveland.
Sydney Rexing, Frannie Smith, Daniella Saul and Claudia Stephens spent months learning diplomatic skills, in addition to all their schoolwork, to prepare for the Haileybury International Model United Nations in England.
"Getting to meet so many people from all over the world was amazing and people in London were so surprised that we came all the way from America just to go to this conference," said Rexing.
The girls represented Australia. They had to become experts on the country and give speeches in front of teens from all over the world.
Sophomore Frannie Smith won the Distinguished Delegate Award and says the Model UN really opens teens to the world around them.
"I think it's going to make a much better world because if kids are being exposed to this earlier, they're going to be aware of the world's problems and hopefully want to change them," said Smith.
Freshman Claudia Stephens won the Highly Commended Delegate Award for doing a great job of swaying debate and putting in valuable opinions.
"There were even kids from this conference from Taiwan and Saudi Arabia," said Stephens. "It opens you up to a lot of diversity that I don't think many kids are exposed to and I think that's really important."
"It was so strange to see how similar we were and how our opinions were so similar to each other, because I never thought that someone from Taiwan would have the same opinion as me," said Saul.
"Their confidence level just skyrocketed," said social studies teacher Lisa Lesh. "The fact that they won awards and they were getting resolutions approved showed how much the hard work that they put into it beforehand really paid off."
The girls believe Model UN should be in every school.
"Because it is just such a phenomenal experience and it's a great opportunity to meet new people and make international connections," said Rexing.
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