Running for any office whether it is in politics or other types of elections, is not always easy for the candidates who are running, but a few local Jr. High students, made it look fairly easy, and fun to do.
Luke Rader and Nevaeh Porter are Eighth graders from Minford who won the office of President and Assistant Secretary-General respectively at the Jr. OMUN.
The Jr. OMUN (Ohio United Model Nations) was held On March 10-12. Minford’s Lori Rolfe, eighth grade teacher, took a total of 41 students representing seven countries. Rolfe has been taking students for 16 years, including both the Jr. and Sr. groups, the Sr. in the fall and the Jr. in the spring. This year’s Jr. OMUN had 32 schools from Ohio, representing 129 countries.
Minford’s Jr. group won the following awards: Outstanding Leadership Award- Luke Rader and Nevaeh Porter, Outstanding Delegate Award- Nevaeh Porter and Junie Allen,, plus as a school in the I-OPEN (an international outreach program for education in Nigeria) Minford was second place.
Porter, by being selected assistant secretary-general will be involved in running the office at the OMUN next March. She says she was very surprised that she won this office because she ran against very good candidates, “so I was very surprised that I was elected. I just would go up to people and tell them to vote for me and I would just talk to them and I would appreciate their vote and introduce myself and try to make friends. I would just walk around to people.” She said she was elected to the top two and they then gave a speech that night, and the next morning, they called them up to the stage and told them they were elected.
In her speech, she said, “I kind of talked about what I was doing and made it kind of funny so people would remember it.” She said that both Rolfe and Jake Alley from Minford, President of the Sr. OMUN this past fall, helped her with her speech. When speaking of next year and performing the office of assistant secretary-general, Porter said she thought it would be fun to run the office and kind of get the other side of it. She has been attending OMUN for the past three years. “I really enjoy it and I think it’s a good experience, it’s really fun.” Porter also worked with a group representing Honduras.
Rader was elected president for OMUN and he says he ran against 11 other people. He said that in order to stand out to others, he used a catchy phrase and he shook lemons, he then clarified that the reason he shook lemons, is that his family owns the concession business and this would give him some way to stand out. He would say, “Be sure to vote for Luke Rader, the lemon shaker.” This, he says, was his own idea.
“I feel like it’s gonna be a great opportunity, it’ll probably be pretty stressful,” Rader said. He said he had planned on running for President when he went up to Columbus to the OMUN, however, “I was surprised that I won.” He said his speech was, ‘Kinda told about my life. I told about my years at OMUN and then I kinda told them why they should vote for me.”
Both he and Rolfe said he did his speech on his own. In his group at OMUN, Rader said they represented Brazil that he and Adam Crank, the only other boy in his group, wore khaki pants and black shirts with white palm trees and the girls wore red dresses with feather headdresses. He humorously said that he thought the girls enjoyed dressing up more than the boys did. Rader says that he has been going to OMUN for three years and plans on continuing when he goes to high school next year.
Ohio Model United Nations (OMUN) was established as a middle school program to allow students in grades 5-8 to learn, not only about the role of the United Nations but to become familiar with other cultures and peoples throughout the world. In order to explore other cultures, students assume the roles of ambassadors from other nations and conduct research in order to represent these nations in a three-day simulation of the United Nations.
The OMUN program consists of students in grades 5-8 that attend Jr. OMUN held annually and students in grades 9-12 attend the annual Sr. OMUN session. The OMUN is ran by a group called Ohio Leadership Institute, Inc. and is established as non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
What an honor it is to have local young students run against others across the state and win both the Presidency and the Assistant Secretary-General. Congratulations to Minford Jr. OMUN contestants, Rader and Porter.
The OMUN program, as you can see, allows so many students in Ohio to participate and see what it might feel like in the true United Nations. What a great way to introduce students to the political scene throughout the world.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928