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Join UNA-GB’s 66 for 66 Campaign

As world leaders prepare to gather today for the United Nations General Assembly’s opening session, here at UNA-GB a brand new 66 for 66 Campaign has been launched.  In connection with the opening of the 66th session of the General Assembly and in honor of the 66th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, our campaign focuses on providing 66 Boston-area high school students the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of diplomats at the annual UN Day Model UN Simulation at the Massachusetts State House on October 24.

“Now more than ever we need to invest in and nurture the next generation of global leaders” says Jennifer Irizarry, Education Director at UNA-GB.  “Unfortunately, too many urban students do not have access to the life-changing resources offered through Model UN, so this campaign allows us to offer more students an opportunity to broaden their perspective, engage in international issues, and build skills that will be critical for college and workplace success.”

UNA-GB’s Model UN program is a college-preparatory program that exposes public school students to the work of the United Nations, the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and topics such as international economics, development and sustainability, while building leadership and negotiation skills, critical reading and writing ability, and public speaking prowess.

It only costs $50 to support one student’s participation in a Model UN, so the 66 for 66 Campaign’s total goal is to raise $3,300 to serve 66 students.  The campaign will run up through Monday, October 24, when dozens of Boston-area public school students will come together at the Massachusetts State House in honor of the 66th anniversary of the UN to solve a critical issue in international development. Students representing diverse nations such as Afghanistan, Paraguay, and South Africa will participate in a Model UN simulation to debate solutions to gender inequality and answer the question: Why do global inequalities for women in education and employment persist and what can be done about it?

Want to learn more about and to support the 66 for 66 Campaign? Visit http://ow.ly/6sdrB!  And invite your friends and family to join you today in investing in the global leaders of tomorrow!

-UNA-GB Education

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”: Reflections from MUN Summer Campers

One of the inevitable rituals that comes with going back to school is sharing what you did on your summer vacation with your fellow classmates.   Is working towards solving the world’s most pressing global challenges, such as child marriage, immigration, and human rights a common story?

For the 39 rising 8th-12th graders who attended our first ever Model UN Summer Camp, held at Harvard Business School in July, the answer is yes.  We asked a handful of our summer campers to share about their camp experience and how it feels to be working towards becoming the next generation of global advocates.  Learn more about the week here and consider sharing information about next year’s camp with a young person in your life!

*A special thank you goes to our corporate sponsor, National Grid, whose generous support provided 10 scholarships for students to attend the Summer Camp, including some featured below!

Raheem, 11th grade
I am from:
I live in Rosendale, MA; that’s where I was born, but my mom is actually from Singapore. She is from an Arab background, and she grew up there in Singapore.

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations, so this is a great way to learn about some of the current issues today.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned about current issues in different countries such as child marriage, and also the role of peacekeepers in the UN, so doing those simulations really helped me to learn more about those different aspects.

What I liked the most about this program: It is so much more engaging type of learning than just hearing about things on the news, so I really enjoyed it.  I think the public speaking aspect that we focus on a lot really helps a lot.

This program will help me with my future goals: Before this I didn’t think international relations was really up there, but now I may be considering it in the future.  I have not done much public speaking before, so wasn’t really used to it, but such a big part of it was based on public speaking that I think I have gotten much better in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think that all sort of kids would like it whether they like to speak out or not, they learn a lot would really broadened their horizons based on politics.

Christina, 11th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I came to Model UN Camp to be better at public speaking and further my education in international relations.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned a lot of things I have not known before that I would need to take to the future with me.

I liked the most about this program: How we came from all over the world to the debate and the caucuses, and the different roles there are.

This program will help me with my future goals: In the future I hope to go into maybe something in law, maybe history, so either way Model UN will help me.

 I would suggest this program to other students: Advice that I give is to come prepared and be open. Don’t be shy about it because everyone is at the same position – come and learn and just be ready to do it.

Emily, 8th grade
I am from:
Barcelona, Spain

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations.  My school is an international school, so there are lots of kids from all over.  I have always been completely fascinated by the different cultural backgrounds and the way countries interact and politics that unite them.

What I have learned from this program: I will learn more about how to express myself and how to debate…How to argue convincingly from point when I don’t completely agree with that point. The thing about being diplomat is you represent a country and a body of people and that’s very important because not everyone’s voice can be heard at any global situation. I want to learn about different countries and different policies.

What I liked the most about this program: Learning from and hearing about what other people have to say, along with meeting new people.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I am older I would love to be a diplomat. Interactions between people and countries in the world are fascinating, and someday I want to make a positive difference in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: It is important for someone to represent because otherwise those people’s voices won’t be heard.

Eric, 11th grade
I am from:
Westford, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: This year I am a class president of my club at my high school and I really want to further my knowledge of the UN and learn about its operations and policies as well as that I hope for a career in the UN someday.

What I have learned from this program: My experience at the Model UN UNA-GB Summer Camp was extraordinary.   It [provided] me with experience to become a better public speaker and debater. Some of the nature of the issues, which I would want to deal with, would be the global economy crisis…as well as human rights.

I liked the most about this program: I made a lot of new friends.  I learned how to become a much more effective and efficient delegate in future Model UN Competitions.

This program will help me with my future goals: I want to represent people who typically, normally speak up for themselves and to defend them.  My dream job would be to become a politician either for the United States or to represent the United States in the UN because I care a lot about people.  It has made me want to become even more involved in international politics; I believe it will help me when applying to some colleges.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think it is important for teenagers my age to join this program, so that way they will realize that they are going to be affected by human rights or some other law or other aspect which the UN discusses.

Mikaeal, 8th grade
I am from:
Newton, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: Because I really did not know about the UN. I thought that I could actually learn how the UN works, what the UN really is, what they really do.  I want to learn more about modern day issues and human rights.

What I have learned from this program: Paying attention is definitely a key part of this camp. It really helps with public speaking.  I learned how to debate. I actually was not really that good in it and I have improved a lot.

What I liked the most about this program: Parliamentary procedures… It was actually my favorite part in the whole class. I had almost no idea when I came here, but now I really understand it.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I joined the camp I thought it will be an interesting thing to know about…I actually don’t know exactly what my career would be, but I think it definitely will help me. It is a very important thing nowadays because all these issues and human rights are a big thing today.

I would suggest this program to other students: It was very accelerating, hard at some points, but I thought it was fun and very educational overall.

Rebecca, 12th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp to: Improve my speaking skills and actually learn to give out my opinions, my suggestions more because before I had a hard time putting out my personal views on certain topics.

 What I have learned from this program: It has been a great experience understanding and learning more and getting to touch up on everything I have learned before.  The Summer Camp has just expanded my level of understanding of how to give out more information about the certain topics that I understand and how to speak to other people sharing my views with others. I learned everything from child marriage to migrant workers and their struggles to basics of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 What I liked the most about this program: [It is] giving me the chance to actually meet with other students from other schools and other countries and cities, which gives me a broader understanding of their different views on different topics being discussed.

This program will help me with my future goals: It changed my life because growing up I always knew I wanted to do something that was bigger than me – something that did not just have to do with me helping myself, but helping others. And the Model UN simulation just gives you the feeling that it is okay to want to get out of the comfort zone, to say I want to go beyond myself, and I want to help others in the process.

I have always wanted to be a pediatrician.  That’s always been in my plan book, but I want to intertwine that with traveling – I want to travel to help those in need, maybe kids in the other parts of the world that cannot get the aid that they need for those specialized areas.

I would suggest this program to other students: This program is amazing because it is actually improving your social capability and your ability to learn and share with others what you learned.  It is a great experience to come to the summer camp because it sharpens your learning abilities and what you know about American history and about the issues in general. It is the beginning, opening the door to helping others, and understanding what the world is made out of.

Daniel, 9th grade
I am from:
Tampa, FL

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I thought it was a great opportunity to come to a beautiful city like Boston and practice and learn some things about Model United Nations that I did not know before.

What I have learned from this program:  I have learned a lot of things about international relations and child rights and human rights that I would have never known if I would have never came to this program.  Mediating with other countries is always the best way to fix things.

What I liked the most about this program: It sets a great platform for your future aspirations to go farther than Model United Nations, and I would suggest it to any Model UN students.

This program will help me with my future goals:  Overall I would like to make the world a better place. There is a lot of turmoil in the world. And it is only one person, but if one person affects three, two people, that is already life well spent.  I am aspiring to go to college at Boston University and go to the international relations school and maybe become an ambassador to another country from the United States. And the prior information that I have learned from this program will surely help to reach that goal.

I would suggest this program to other students: Whether you are experienced or not in the Model United Nations field, you can learn some things that you did not know or if you just completely new to the Model UN, you can learn everything you really need to know.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming camp opportunities!

Meet Our Summer 2011 Interns!

With the summer semester in full swing,
UNA-GB is pleased to introduce our latest team of interns!

Chris Asmar

Education Intern

I am a rising senior at Boston College where I am majoring in Political Science and Islamic Civilization and Societies.  I spent this past semester studying abroad in the Middle East at the American University of Kuwait, where I earned a Certificate in Gulf Studies.  I have been involved with Model United Nations in different ways since my freshman year in high school, and will serve as President of the Boston College Model United Nations for the 2011-2012 academic year.  After graduation, I see myself working either in Foreign Service for the US State Department or for an NGO like Amnesty International.

Nicolas Blake

Education Intern

I am from Berkley, Massachusetts and am an International Studies major at American University in Washington, DC. I am interested in politics – both national and international – economics, and United States foreign policy. I first developed an interest in international affairs while at Somerset High School through participating in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences, including those sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB). Based on my own experience in developing academic and professional goals through participation in MUN, I hope to contribute to the UNA-GB’s mission of extending such opportunities to other New England students.  In my free time, I am a proud citizen of Red Sox Nation and consumer of Mad Men DVD’s.

Annie Burrows

Education Intern

I grew up in Brookline and attended public school there.  I went to Connecticut College in New London for my undergraduate degree and then spent a year in Spain studying for my masters in bilingual and multicultural education. I’ve lived in Madrid, Seville, Santiago (DR), and Costa Rica. I speak Spanish and I’m hoping to learn French some day as well. I’m hoping to go to graduate school in the United States or England within the next couple of years, hopefully for International Relations, Higher Education Administration, or some combination of the two. I love to dance, learn about different cultures, try new types of food (eat in general), and play board games.

James Fargher

Education Intern

Born in the United States to British parents, I have been lucky enough
to live both in the US and in Europe and to be a dual citizen.
Currently, I live on Cape Cod and am student at Drew University in New Jersey working towards my BA in History, with minors in Politics, European studies, and possibly French. I have been an avid fan of Model UN, both in high school and university, and take a great interest in international security and strategic studies. Ultimately I hope to earn my Ph.D. in History and rejoin the rest of my family in the UK, working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, canoeing and music, as well as unashamedly loving board games and murder mystery TV shows.

Amanda Gonzalez

Education Intern

“¡Hola! I am from New York City, the Bronx to be specific, and was
raised in a Puerto Rican-American household. I have made my way to
Boston University from the inner-city school system of New York and will be beginning my last year of undergraduate studies in September. I am currently studying International Relations with a focus on Europe, Business and Economics, and a minor in the Spanish language. I am very excited to be interning with the UNAGB as an education intern this summer as working with the organization hits a passion close to home. Throughout
my academic career I was never exposed to Model of the UN nor international affairs, that is until I came to BU. Now I have the opportunity to educate students on the international affairs, simulations, and Model of the UN conferences that I was unfortunately not exposed to. The earlier we educate and expose the youth of today on the importance of international cooperation, the more promising and capable the adults and world of tomorrow!”

Smriti Kattel

Programs Intern

I was born and grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal, and moved to Boston with my family after high school. I am a senior at Boston University, majoring in International Relations, and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I have lived through the Nepali Civil War, and the rocky ongoing transition to democracy. Having thus witnessed firsthand what a difference the UN makes in the world, I am a passionate supporter of the UN and UNA-GB. Having lived in both Nepal and the U.S., I see my life as a project of integrating these two very beautiful, yet very different cultures.

Yun-Hee Kim

Education Intern

I was born in Germany, but spent the first half of my childhood in New Jersey. Afterwards, I attended middle and high school in Seoul, Korea. Now, I am currently a rising senior at Tufts University. I major in International Relations and have a minor in English. I recently studied abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain to improve my fluency with Spanish. After I graduate, I hope to work in governmental foreign affairs or with international organizations. I enjoy reading and writing about my travels, as well as cooking and learning about foods from different countries.

Cara Koenigsberg

Programs Intern

I just graduated a few weeks ago from Suffolk University with a BSBA degree in Global Business and Management. I’m originally from Rumson, New Jersey. I’ve spent my entire life traveling between the US and Italy to visit family, am fluent in English and Italian, and have studied Spanish. I started studying abroad at a young age, to boost my love of traveling, spending a portion of a summer while in high school studying in Cambridge, England, later followed by another summer and year studying abroad in Rome, Italy while in college. While studying abroad in Italy for a year, I also had three internship experiences with focuses in International Affairs and International Travel. I look forward to my internship experience at UNA-GB this summer, with a focus in Social Media, to give me more opportunities to be exposed to the global world as I begin my global career and choose my ‘post-grad’ path, a path that will definitely have an international twist and allow me to travel the world.

Lorianne Lopez

Programs Intern

Studying international relations and learning about different cultures have always been  passions of mine. Growing up in the Philippines, I have been exposed to both traditional and Western cultures through my family and school. My interest in global issues grew even more as I lived in Spain for several months during high school. Currently, I am a senior in Boston College pursuing a major in Economics and a minor in International Studies. As an international student, I have become more aware of the disparities in the standard of living between my country and the US, and I aim to continue working in the NGO sector to learn more about development and hopefully pursue a Masters in that study. I am also the upcoming president of the International Club of Boston College, which aims to promote international issues and foster stronger relations between the international students and the rest of the BC community.

Muzghan Rasul

Programs Intern

I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. My family and I were forced to move to Russia to save our lives. I had to start my life over in Russia. I had to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. I graduated from high school in Moscow, Russia. My journalism studies began in Moscow where I immigrated with my parents, and were interrupted when I moved to the United States. Here in the states I had to start my life over again. I enrolled as a junior in Broadcast journalism field at Emerson College and just graduated in May.  Although I was forced to leave Afghanistan, I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had living in different countries because I have learned about other people’s customs and values. I have a strong interest in international affairs because of my multicultural experience.

Miriam Wong

Education Intern

My name is Miriam Wong and I am a rising sophomore at Brandeis University. I come from Hong Kong and grew up in Guangzhou, China, where I attended an international school with students and teachers from various countries and backgrounds. My interest in development economics and poverty alleviation led me to become actively involved with Positive Foundations, a student organization at Brandeis that advocates, fundraises, and raises awareness about the UN Millennium Development Goals. As an intern at UNAGB, I help prepare for the middle and high school Model United Nations conferences and work with passionate and intelligent future leaders who will be able to make a positive difference in the world. . Some of my hobbies include playing new music on my radio show, watching sitcoms and playing volleyball.

Go Inside the 2011 Consuls Ball!

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The United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB) hosted its Annual Consuls Ball – an elegant, high-spirited international event that gives tribute to the city’s global leaders of today while benefiting the global leaders of tomorrow – at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston on Friday, April 29, 2011. More than 350 guests and 30 consuls who facilitate business, trade, education, and collaboration came out to celebrate the international community in Boston.

Along with celebrating the Consular Corps of Boston’s service and commitment to international cooperation in the community, the night most notably honored Carol Fulp, Senior Vice President of the Brand Development Group at John Hancock Financial.  Ms. Fulp received UNA-GB’s Leadership Award, a prestigious award given to a Boston leader who has made outstanding contributions to the local and international community.  Past awardees have included Senator John Kerry and Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of UNICEF.  This past fall, Fulp was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a Representative of the U.S. to the 65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

“Carol’s commitment to the Boston community, to our youth, and to the global community through her work at the US Mission to the UN makes her an excellent recipient for our 2011 Leadership Award,” says UNA-GB Executive Director, Lena Granberg.  “She embodies effective global leadership and is a role model for the many students who participate in our Model UN program and who may one day have the opportunity to represent their country in the General Assembly.”

The Ball not only recognized the global leaders of today, but also offered an opportunity to support Boston’s future global leaders.  Judi Allen, Director of History and Social Studies in the Malden School District, and Rebecca Jean, a student from Malden High School, reflected on the impact of UNA-GB’s Model UN program, which teaches 6th-12th grade students in local public schools to think critically about complex global issues, increase their understanding of diversity and the world beyond our borders, and provide them with conflict resolution and public speaking skills.

“Coming from Haiti and growing up in an urban environment I never really thought I would be able to get involved in something like [Model UN],” Jean shared.  “It is an opportunity to have a voice; to jump out of comfort zones, and most importantly, take that experience into the future real world such as in college, in the workplace and in terms of communicating with others.”

In the 2010 school year, over 2,300 students — 1,730 from urban schools — participated in UNA-GB’s Model UN program in over 70 schools throughout the Greater Boston area, including every 7th grader in the Malden School District.

Other elements of the evening’s program included a nod to the Royal Wedding, which was celebrated worldwide earlier that day.  Dr. Phil Budden, Britain’s Consul General to New England, gave a special toast to the Royal Couple and two guests were crowned the “royal” winners of the evening with a Mystery Box drawing featuring a sapphire and diamond ring inspired by Kate Middleton’s engagement ring and a Longines men’s watch fit for a prince, courtesy of Ball sponsor Shreve, Crump & Low. The Ball also featured both a live auction and a silent auction, with the most prominent items of the night being a coveted pair of Red Sox/Yankee tickets, an Olympic escape to Vancouver and a tropical trip to the Cayman Islands.

R.D. Sahl, the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and former NECN broadcaster shared Governor Deval Patrick’s official proclamation, which declared April 29 as 2011 Consuls Day in Massachusetts.  Leonard Kopelman, the Honorary Consul General of Finland and the Dean of the Consular Corps of Boston, and UNA-GB President, Richard Golob, addressed the guests as well.  In addition, the honorary Consular Corps Procession was followed by a moment of silence this year for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Sponsors of the Ball were Shreve, Crump & Low, State Street Corporation, John Hancock Financial, GGA Software Services, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Hult International Business School, Suffolk Sawyer Business School, and the British School of Boston.

Overall, the Consuls Ball was a great success, even receiving diverse local media coverage!

We had almost a full page feature in the May 5th G Section with photos by Bill Brett.  You can check the lead photo out online here:  http://www.boston.com/ae/events/articles/2011/05/05/party_lines/

Secondly, we had some live television coverage the evening of the Ball by Channel 7 news, in relation to the Royal Wedding.  They did live shots at 10 pm and 11 pm.  You can see footage from the evening here: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/entertainment/royal-wedding/12004182675761/royal-wedding-parties-continue-in-the-bay-state/

And lastly, we’ve been hard at work here in the office putting up photos from the Ball on our Facebook page:

Reception:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150180787254310.320235.271253314309

Program/Dinner:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150180808144310.320244.271253314309

Enjoy!  And we hope you join us next year as well for THE global gala of the season!