Taking a bunch of teenagers to New York City is not something everyone would take on, but Minford Eighth Grade history teacher, Lori Rolfe was up for the challenge.
Rolfe who has been taking students from the high school and middle school to the Ohio United Model Nations(OMUN) for many years, upped her game this year, by taking 12 high school students to New York City to the National High School Model United Nations(NHSMUN) for an entire week.
The students Rolfe took were children who usually have participated in the OMUN. Rolfe shared they got invited to attend this year last spring at the OMUN. She decided to take a small group the first time, to see how it worked and how things went.
The group arrived in New York Monday morning and headed home Saturday. Along with Rolfe, Minford Middle School principal, Dennis Evans, Brittany Keaton, a teacher at New Boston and college student, Jake Alley attended as chaperones. Alley is a past President of the OMUN through Minford.
The first two days, the group toured the city, went to the West Side Story Broadway show and they did a cruise of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The students also visited the 9/11 Memorial and went down to Wall Street.Other sights the students got to see were the Brooklyn Bridge, Time Square, Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock.
Rolfe said they did split up some and Evans took some of the boys to the USS Intrepid, WWII Aircraft Carrier, which is now a sea, air and space museum, while the girls wanted to go to a bakery and to shop at Time Square.
“The students have ridden the subway, the bus, and they walked miles and miles around the city,” Rolfe said. “They have done practically everything except ride in a taxi.”
The work began Wednesday, as the students were in sessions all day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. They had different committee assignments and the Minford students were representing the country of Czechia. The 12 children were in six different sessions out of 29 different committees. One of them was in the Organized Crime committee, one in the World Health committee, and they were spread out in other committees. Each committee had two topics in which position their country has taken before. Then, they bring that information and they all work together to come up with a resolution.
They continue to break up in different committees and come back together and do so again until they eventually create one paper together.
“It was kind of neat to sit in these sessions because they have a pager and the pager takes notes from group to group and they can invite a group to your session and the pager takes the written note to that group for example,” Rolfe said.
Students also were able to meet with the Czechia diplomat and consulate and met with them for about an hour.
Rolfe spoke with the director of the director at the NHSMUN and he had this to say, “There were 2448 students in your session, there are two sessions, and each has 2400-2500 students. Between both sessions, there are more than 70 countries represented and you are one of just three Ohio schools. We were so impressed by your students!”
“NHSMUN has been my favorite high school experience,” Junior Sawyer Grashel said. “I’ve made friends from all over the world. The conference has given me perspectives I never would have considered. I found myself going back into the conference while others were preparing for bed to get as much information as I could and to learn about the reason behind beliefs many consider radical. One reoccurring result was that from every debate, every argument, I made a friend. No matter what we disagreed on, we always ended up laughing and shaking hands, and I plan on keeping in touch with all of these amazing people.”
“NHSMUN is a truly amazing opportunity and unforgettable experience,” freshman Junie Allen said of her experience on the trip. “Debate, resolution writing, and meeting new people from around the world has allowed me to see global issues in a new light. I’m really thankful that I have gotten to attend this conference. “
When asked if Rolfe would take students again, she stated some of the children said they would like to do it again and would probably do it again.
“For some of these kids this was a trip of a lifetime,” Rolfe said.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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