Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
Isaiah 1, 17
Pictured here are UN delegates Dan Eckels of Bridgewater, Paul Chukrallah of Somerset, Lidia DeSapio of Frenchtown, and Chunchun Waskin of Skillman
Business, politics, and communications have helped to make the world seem smaller and for tomorrow’s leaders, knowledge of global issues so essential. That’s what makes the YMCA’s Model United Nations so powerful and Immaculata High School has benefitted from this superb program for years. Earlier this month, forty-one Immaculata Spartans expanded their educational horizons and laid the groundwork for future leadership roles, by utilizing the conference to become more cognizant of key global issues.
The three day Model United Nations conference, held annually in Hershey, PA, offers students a unique view of the operations and structure of the United Nations, while also providing the opportunity to actively learn about world cultures and debate issues of international importance.
What’s more, Immaculata typically brings home a number of prestigious awards (including the honor of Outstanding Delegation awarded to IHS students in 2013). Tom Welsh, assistant principal of student affairs and moderator of the Immaculata club for the past nine years, won the Gretta Roffman Ostrovsky Service to Youth Award in recognition of his dedication and the exceptional performance of his students.
“It’s incredible to watch these debates occur and know these students are the best of the best and putting forth their greatest effort,” says Welsh, who also teaches an AP U.S. History course at Immaculata. “Year after year, my debaters are awarded for their collaborative skills, their debating abilities, and their sportsmanship. These students are incredibly dedicated and their commitment shows.”
Dan Eckels of Bridgewater, who attended the recent conference and argued the case of the U.S. government’s Native American removal policy of the 1830’s says: “It was fascinating how much more we were able to learn beyond the normal classroom time. The positive or negative aspects of any presidency are not always disclosed in textbooks. So, this gave us a chance to reevaluate history from a more informed point of view.”
Frenchtown resident Lidia DeSapio, who argued the case with Eckels, notes: “Model UN is a great experience. Speaking in front of your peers and trying to persuade them to your way of thinking is such a confidence booster. I learned so much and had a lot of fun. My only regret is that I waited until my junior year to get involved.”
IHS students have been attending the Model United Nations Conference regularly, since 1985. The Immaculata team has been presented with more than 80 awards there since 2005.