2015 Consuls Ball – many perspectives
In the lead up to our annual Consuls Ball this year, we have asked several people to write what they are most excited about for the gala – past interns, current interns, attendees, supporters, staff etc. As opinions come in, we will be updating this blog post, so read up every few days on what people have said, send us your thoughts and maybe you will be included in the next post!! Now that the Ball has passed, we also asked some to write about their experience and opinions about the evening. Happy reading!
A volunteer’s thoughts on the Ball
The Annual Consuls Ball is the biggest night of the year for the United Nations Association of Greater Boston — one of Boston’s most passionate and influential non-profit organizations. While the rest of the year is spent shaping the hearts and minds of thousands of young students through their Model UN programs, for this one magical night the UNAGB gets to gather its most steadfast and loyal supporters to celebrate their joint accomplishments. From the Consuls, to corporate sponsors, to individual donors and the general public — this is a night for all to collectively support the initiatives and educational programs of the UNAGB so that one day our youth can achieve a truly lasting international peace and prosperity. With such lofty but honorable goals, it only seems right that for one night we are able to kickback and enjoy the company of like-minded individuals who have all determined that organizations such as the UNAGB are vital to ensure our future leaders have the skills and know-how to engage with each other on an international level.
As a first-time volunteer and attendee at this year’s Consuls Ball, I was lucky enough to meet a class of individuals with whom I could share my personal adoration for the Model UN program. As a young student I was fortunate enough to participate in my high school’s chapter of Model UN. Here, I discovered a passion for international subject matters that has continued to guide my educational and vocational endeavors. As a recently graduated Master’s student in International Studies, it pains me to think how my life would have transpired had I not been introduced to the Model UN. Luckily, events such as the Annual Consuls Ball help to ensure that the UNAGB’s Model UN programs remain accessible to each and every student who possesses the desire to tackle our world’s most pressing international problems and develop solutions based on mutual cooperation and understanding. For those who have been attendees at the Ball and have listened to the testimonies of past and present Model UN students, it is easy to see the way these programs have changed the perspectives and attitudes of thousands of students in the Greater Boston area.
To give the night its proper glory, a large amount of name-dropping and grandeur has to be added. To begin, the Annual Consuls Ball is held in the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza inside its magnificent and regal ballroom. This year’s attendees included foreign dignitaries and Consuls from countries as diverse as South Korea, Sweden, and Colombia. Attendees were greeted with a welcome speech from UNAGB’s President Richard Golob and Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh expressed his personal gratification for the UNAGB’s tireless efforts to broaden the minds of Boston’s youth. In addition to these honorable guests were attendees from across the globe, from India, to China, to South Sudan. Each and every attendee was unique in their own way — even us volunteers! To top off the night, the Beantown Swing Orchestra hit the stage as American Idol finalist John Stevens serenaded us with his sweet ragtime melodies. As the clock struck midnight and the Ball came to a close, I know that many departed with more than just the orchestra’s gleeful rhythms stuck in their heads. This year’s attendees were left with the knowledge that they had offered their tangible support for one of Boston’s most enduring and beneficial organizations and are forever a part of the UNAGB’s enduring legacy.
– Chelsea C.
An intern’s first night on the job
This summer I am so lucky to be interning with UNAGB. As soon as I heard about the organization, went on to the website, and saw the fantastic events and conferences this organization organizes I couldn’t wait to apply to be an intern. After being accepted for the summer, I was invited to help volunteer for the Consuls Ball as my first glance at the organization. Needless to say, I was thrilled for a chance to dress up and work at such a fancy event. Looking at the Facebook posts from previous years I could see that I would be attending an event that would be an amazing opportunity to meet the many people who were involved with UNAGB.
I was astonished by how absolutely beautiful the entire ball was. Having never been to Copley Plaza before, I loved the architecture. It was the perfect setting for what would be a very enjoyable night. I was also amazed at how smoothly everything went, mostly due to the dedication of the other volunteers who were there to help out. Many had been interns at UNAGB before, just as I am this summer. The fact that they were willing to come back and help with this event, even though their internships had been completed years ago for some, was a big clue that the work of this organization is very worthwhile.
As the guests started to arrive I enjoyed interacting with them and listening to how excited everyone was for the evening. Of course, one of my favorite parts was checking out everyone’s dresses. I have to say, all the guests looked fantastic. It was truly amazing to see everyone chatting with each other and telling stories. The atmosphere was so friendly and everyone I had the chance to talk with had interesting stories to share. After an absolutely delicious dinner, the live auction was a huge hit as everyone loved watching the energetic auctioneer. The night concluded with music from Beantown Swing Orchestra, and we all loved watching the couples dance and have a great time.
Looking back, I am so glad my first day at this internship was at the Consuls Ball. This was one of the best ways I can think of to see just how much of an impact this organization has on the Boston area. The generosity of the guests completely blew me away, both during the auction and afterward at the last call for donations. I can only imagine what a huge impact the results of this night will have on the students of this area. It was a whirlwind of a night, with so many different names, faces and conversations to remember. The number of people who came to the ball to support UNAGB amazed me. I am so grateful to be given a chance to be a part of such an enthusiastic and committed team who is capable of impacting so many lives.
– Bridget I.
An Intern’s Perspective on returning for the Ball
I have been involved with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston since September 2014, and I can honestly say that being a part of this community is one of the best decisions I have made since moving to Boston about a year and a half ago. I have been so impressed with the organization and cannot begin to say how excited I am to take part in this year’s Consul’s Ball. The impact that UNAGB has on the local community is unbelievable. More unbelievable is thinking about the world wide impact the thousands of youth served by UNAGB will have in the future. To me, taking part in the Consul’s Ball is more than just a fun night of food and fun with interesting people, it is an opportunity to ensure that UNAGB’s work is recognized and that their impact continues. Every year more than 5,000 Boston youth take part in Model UN programming. These students decide to spend their time learning about world issues, finding where their passions lie, and cultivating their skills to become agents of change. UNAGB facilitates an environment for opinions to be solidified beyond passion and backed up with facts, enabling Boston’s youth to be well informed citizens not only of this country but of the world. They are encouraged to see the other side, negotiate not just to win, but to find viable solutions that are best for all parties. The skills that students gain through model UN programming are irreplaceable and imperative in a world where issues regularly cross borders. Multilateral decision making is increasingly important. The value of arming our youth with the skills to navigate this changing global climate cannot be over stated. I am so proud to take part in the Consul’s Ball on May 9th to support UNAGB, the thousands of youth that are served through Model UN programs, and the world at large which stands to benefit.
An Intern’s Perspective on her first Ball
UNAGB’s Consul’s Ball is the one event I am most looking forward to attending this year. Not only is it exciting to be part of this big and positive event, but it is also exciting to know that I will have the opportunity to be among wonderful people who share the interest of bringing change to many communities and the world. Furthermore, I am looking forward to networking with people who have different backgrounds and come from different countries, as traveling is one of my passions.
Last fall, I was honored to have met and chatted with some consuls and an ambassador, at a UN Day Luncheon. The stories I heard from them were eye opening, and made me view the world differently. For example, the Irish Ambassador to United Nations told me how he worked with Irish Aid (a program that focuses on development in countries that are overseas) in the past. I have heard of Irish Aid growing up, and all the amazing things that they do, but I didn’t really know much about the organization. After that conversation, I went home and researched their website to learn more about the organization. I ended up learning about their online volunteering program that I can proudly say that I am now part of. Without UNAGB’s event, I would not have had a chance to meet with the ambassador, and neither would I have thought about Irish Aid and their volunteering program.
I have my ball gown, and glass slippers ready to dance, eat, and be part of this amazing event!
– Tabia K.