21st Model United Nations Program For Middle School Students
California YMCA Youth & Government has offered the Model United Nations (MUN) program to middle school students throughout the state since 2001. Middle school students or "delegates" will come together in delegations and participate in the program with peers from across California. They are given the opportunity to discuss international issues, discover other cultures, develop life-enhancing skills, and make new friends. The four-month program culminates when delegates from around the state convene for the Model United Nations Summit. There, delegates represent assigned countries as ambassadors and work to solve global issues with the skills they have acquired.
Students participate in the program through their local delegations. Delegations are formed through YMCAs, schools, or other youth-affiliated programs. Delegations are encouraged to host weekly meetings that typically begin in Mid-January, and are led by an adult Advisor. Within their delegations, delegates research, debate and establish policies, treaties and resolutions. Their main focuses are international issues, including disputes between countries, peacekeeping efforts, border crisis, stabilizing financial markets and dealing with hunger, disease and poverty.
Some groups may hold their weekly meetings virtually while others will be in person. This will depend on the local guidelines of each delegation so be sure to check with your local YMCA regarding their in person meeting policies.
Where and When Are the Conferences?
In addition to weekly delegation meetings, students will participate in larger statewide events with middle schoolers from other YMCAs across the state. Stay tuned for more information on conference dates and times!
What Should You Expect During Conferences?
Delegates can expect a curriculum that includes a thorough orientation of the overall MUN program and its program areas, as well as workshops that focus on culture acceptance, public speaking, and leadership skills. Delegates also receive an introduction to the staff, role training, and a chance to meet other middle school students outside of their local area.
When attending the Model United Nations Summit, ambassadors take on the roles of their country’s UN representatives, committee chairs, and presiding officers. They get to put their research and newfound knowledge to work as they perform their roles and explore how the United Nations is run. In this unique experience, they deal with international issues that affect our world. Delegates leave this experience with greater knowledge of the world around them and social skills that they can use for life!
How Do I Get Involved?
Information on our 21st Model United Nations program year has yet to be announced. Registration dates will be announced in December! Contact your local YMCA to sign up with a delegation or let us know if you need help locating one.
For program information, please contact: Ali Sheaffer, Statewide Program Director AliSheaffer@ymcaLA.org.