Public speaking is not easy for many people, but for one high school senior, it has become natural and easy.
Jake Alley, a senior at Minford High School gave the keynote speech for for the Ohio Model United Nations(OMUN) on December 3, in front of 1,500 people and put forth an educational and yet, eloquent final OMUN speech representing Minford.
Alley has spent many years being involved in the OMUN, for school age students. As United Nations State Officers, Alley, Secretary General, of the General Assembly, along with Tyler Marsh, President of the General Assembly, from Whitehall Yearling High School, presided over 1500 delegates at the Senior OMUN.
Alley is one of the first photos on OMUN’s Facebook page. Following that set of photos, is the 2018 Sr. Ohio Model United Nations State Officers and Alley is in the middle of the back row of these officers.
Alley began participating in OMUN when he was in the sixth grade in the Jr. program. This is the second time Alley has served as an officer. In OMUN, students can serve two times during their high school years. He first ran and won in the 8th grade and served while he was a freshman. Both times he ran for Secretary General and both times, he won the position. “It is a pretty big honor, because you have to give your speeches and over 1,500 people are the ones who vote,” said Alley.
“The position of Secretary General, the first night they have council sessions and that is where you have 50 to 60 kids in a room and each group will present their resolutions. I was in charge of taking the roll call and charge of taking the vote of the resolutions,” Alley said. “I also keep all the official time and keep track of the debate, and if anyone is an outstanding speaker, I keep track of that. Then I, along with the President, are the top two officers of the program and preside over the OMUN secretariat meetings, which includes all of the officers in the Ohio Leadership Institute.”
Alley gives a speech at the International Summit on Monday night, kind of like the Keynote speech. “This is where I give my vision of what the state of the world is, and how we can improve it,” said Alley.
Alley spoke on some of the best parts of his speech. He talked about working to better the community, that in turn is going to better the world. He said they have this motto: “Think Global, Act Local.” “I think that is a great model to live by. There are so many small things that people can do,” Alley said. “You can volunteer, you can give money, if you just be nice to others and be polite, a lot of those things can go a long way.”
Another one of the things he used, was a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ’’ Alley added, “A leader doesn’t just lead a group, he is a servant and that’s an important part of leadership, anyone can be a leader, leadership is a skill and is something that is taught to you, some people are natural born leaders, but they also have to practice those skills.”
Alley says that through these programs like OMUN and Leadership training, he has bolstered his leadership skills to another level. He said he spoke about social media and told the audience that when you see something negative or that you don’t like, ask what you can do to improve the problems, instead of posting about it, do something about it.
He also spoke on unity and said we all have our differences, but what we should be looking for is common ground and if we did a little bit more of that we’d see a lot of things improve. “A lot of things that divide us, are actually what should be bringing us together. Where there is unity there is always victory,” Alley said. “We are all human and we all want the same things.”
Alley says in his seven years of participating in OMUN, “I think that through this program I have learned that I am a natural born leader and I realize the proper way of using those skills. A leader is not someone who can boss people around, it is someone who can direct a group.” He spoke of the camp and how it focuses on leadership and how a leader is confident, but humble, compassionate, a good listener, and full of integrity.
When asked if he would recommend students to get involved in the OMUN program, he stated, “I would absolutely recommend that students get involved in OMUN, and you might not be interest in the united nations part of it, but you can find your niche within the program,” he said. “I am also a student advisor for the middle school ages, and I tell them, these are skills that can help you in your life, just being exposed to different ideas and the cultural part. It’s a great all around program.
Alley’s advisor for his seven years of OMUN, has been Lori Rolfe, history teacher at Minford Middle School, and Alley spoke very highly of her and what she has done for him and all the other students that have participated in this program. “I think a lot of people don’t realize what a program like this can do and how it can set you up the rest of your life, and I would like to thank her, because this program is the largest of its kind in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation,” Alley said. “A lot of schools would like to participate, but don’t have an advisor that is willing to go and give up time where they could be doing other things. I can’t imagine my life without this program, I think it’s shown me what I want to do and that’s just helping people, I love helping people and a leader has the way of doing that. I am definitely thankful for all she’s done for us.”
Rolfe had this to say about Alley, “I am very proud of Jake, he has worked so hard in OMUN since the 6th grade. He did a fantastic job as Secretary General of the program this year and gave a fabulous state of the world address. He has evolved into a positive leader and young man.”
Alley is undecided as to where he will attend college in the Fall, but he is thinking he would like to pursue a degree in Political Science and potentially go to law school. He concluded, “This opportunity has exposed me to politics, and I think I could do well in them.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928