FLHS Model UN Wins Four Awards at the National High School Model UN Conference

The Francis Lewis High School Model United Nations (UN) attended the 2022 National High School Model UN
Conference at the New York Hilton midtown from March 18-21. The group of eight returned with four awards, consisting of the 
School Award of Excellence, Delegation Award of Excellence, and two Delegation Awards of Merit for displaying hard work.

The Model UN is an academic team for FLHS students that presents a mock of the United Nations.  Students have the opportunity to explore and discuss world issues and solutions to further make the world a better place. 

“We basically speak about moral issues and how we represent the nations we are assigned like China or Russia,” club member and sophomore Joseph Bontemps said. “We have to represent the interest of the perspective of that nation and give that nations opinion on world issues and work to solve them.”

Not only does Model UN provide students with the opportunity to discuss politics, it provides an interactive environment for students across the country. 

“We met delegates from all over the world, including countries from Italy, Colombia, Venezuela, and states from all across the country,” junior and Club President Erin Jeon said. “I am proud to say that Francis Lewis’s Model UN Club performed outstandingly at the 2022 NHSMUN conference.”

According to Jeon, preparation for the conference was “extremely nerve-wracking at first.”

“Going to a conference this year, let alone a national conference, was extremely nerve-wracking at first,” Jeon said. “This was the first in-person conference the team would be attending since 2019, so being nervous was an understatement. Our club had a few short weeks to prepare our research, position papers, transportation plans, and more.”

Not only does Model UN give students the chance to discuss politics and interact with students nationwide, it also gives students invaluable confidence in public speaking and fosters leadership skills.

Personally, the Model UN Club has benefitted me by making me take on the role of an outspoken leader,” Jeon said. “I joined Model UN in my freshman year and was very shy and timid. Being in Model UN forced me to come out of my shell and led me to become a better public speaker. I also met many new people and made many amazing friends.”

Model UN can also help students with their college applications, considering colleges’ interest in seeing determined and motivated students.

“If colleges know that in your free time you could be playing video games but now you choose to join a team to research, writing and debating, that shows you’re really ready for college,” Model UN Club Adviser Ms. McGuirk said. “It also shows you have an interest in making the world a better place. I think many students join to have a sense of community because I think it’s easy to get lost in Francis Lewis.”

Although the club requires hard work and an investment in more academic work after school, it provides an amazing experience for club members.

“When we were in the conference room, debating and writing documents, that’s when it actually felt like a meaningful impact,” Bontemps said.  “Of course it’s all fake and not real, but surely it felt real and shows these nations disagreeing on all these things can actually work together.” 

The Model UN Club has many future goals to help expand the club and provide more opportunities for club members.

“Our future goal is to do two big conferences and 2 small conferences,” Ms. McGuirk said. “It’s been a few years and we started very small in Franny. We have already grown so much.  Our goal is to grow and expand, [and] to hopefully host a Francis Lewis MUN event in your school one day.”

The 2022 MUN conference was a great learning experience for club members and can be for those interested in joining.

“Personally I take interest in politics in the UN,” Bontemps added.  “I attended a model conference where I met many people all over the country and the world and it was a very eye-opening experience.”