Rye Neck High School seniors Maggie Victory, Dasha Boswell, Jose LaTorre, Risa Liebmann and Sandy Zhang attended the 45th annual Yale Model United Nations conference from Jan. 17-20.
Accompanied by their adviser Thomas Graziano, the students – who were among more than 1,700 student-delegates from more than 80 schools worldwide – stepped into the shoes of United Nations ambassadors to debate a variety of current issues. Zhang represented Panama in the World Health Organization committee, Victory represented Sierra Leone in the African Union, LaTorre represented North Korea in DISEC (Disarmament and International Security Committee), Liebmann represented North Korea in the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs Committee, and Boswell represented Panama in ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council). In addition, the students submitted position papers that addressed their assigned topic.
In her essay, “The Ties That Bind Us: International Networks in An Area of Globalization,” Victory wrote about macroeconomics and its effect on globalization. As a result, she earned third place in the essay competition and was recognized by a panel of judges for her passion and interest in the topic she analyzed. Victory’s submission will be published on the website of the Yale Review of International Studies, Yale's premier undergraduate journal of international relations scholarship.
“Maggie is one of the best writers in our Model UN at Rye Neck, and she takes pride in the clarity of her thoughts, as well as in ensuring all of her statements are supported by factual evidence,” Graziano said. “Her background in Advanced Placement European History during her sophomore year, as well as her current AP Macroeconomics class, helped her craft a great essay concerning the impact of globalization and interdependence in the contemporary world.”
Graziano said the students who are part of the Model UN Club, which was founded three years ago at Rye Neck, have worked tirelessly to ensure that the club remains a competitive Model UN delegation.
“Through all of their hard work, afterschool meetings, and trial and error at local Model UN conferences, they have demonstrated that they have the skills and determination to compete on a global level with delegations from around the world,” he said. “They had a great time making deals and friendships with the delegates they met at Yale, and exemplified sheer determination in ensuring that we were able to participate in one of the largest Model UN conferences in the Northeast.”
Graziano said Rye Neck High School Principal Tina Wilson has been instrumental in the success of the club due to her support throughout the year and providing students with the opportunity to attend multiple conferences.
“Our students are honing their debate skills but also internalizing the need and ability to be the driving force for change in politics, society, and, hopefully, global affairs in the future,” Graziano said.