Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Harvard Model UN Fosters Teens’ Interest in Global Affairs

Demarest, NJ: Long hours of hard work are not everyone’s idea of a good time, but several students from the Academy of the Holy Angels enjoyed being absorbed in multiple days of complex negotiations at the Harvard Model UN Conference. The AHA students represented Finland during this international event held in Boston.

First-time AHA delegate Angelina Busetto of Pomona, New York, described her service on the Legal Committee as an amazing, unforgettable experience.

“This committee is one of the biggest committees, consisting of over 300 delegates from across the world, each representing a different country,” Busetto explained. Her group delved into transitional justice: potential remedies for legal cases involving human rights.

“All students spent long rigorous hours in committee trying to solve this issue as best possible, but, unfortunately, my committee did not come to a decisive resolution,” she noted.

“I loved every second that I spent in committee because of the inspiration that was spread throughout the room. Each and every delegate tried to solve this problem, taking into account each and every country in the world,” Busetto said.

She returned home with a greater understanding of the workings of the United Nations, and an appreciation for the value of considering multiple opinions on a topic. Although the conference involved long days devoted to serious issues, Busetto is already looking forward to serving at HMUN next year.

Bergenfield resident Shannon Dobres, another first-time participant, said she felt as though she fit right in at HMUN.
“I met many different people from all around the world and worked with them to create solutions to racism, xenophobia, and discrimination,” Dobres said. She added that her group was working on methods to halt economic discrimination in the realms of employment and education.

“My partner delegate, Camila, and I worked with countries such as the Republic of Korea, Israel, and Brazil, and formed a draft resolution that got passed by the Social, Humanitarian, and Culture Committee,” Dobres reported.

She described HMUN as a great way to “meet new people, learn about ongoing issues within the world, and work together to form solutions to these issues.”

Returning delegate Katherine Gazzini called this year’s event a trip to remember.

“Though I enjoyed my time as a delegate as a freshman, I definitely gained more from the experience this year, as I was a leader in my committee and more familiar with the topic,” the Ridgewood resident explained. “Harvard Model UN has allowed me to develop a stronger interest in global affairs and a deeper understanding of the world around me. It's so impressive to see other students around my age developing feasible solutions to world problems, and it inspires me when I speak to other delegates about their lives and achievements. Everyone has different stories to share. Last year and this year alike, I have been so lucky to meet so many amazing people from all around the world. Becoming friends with people with so many different backgrounds is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to learn about the world around you.”

AHA students who attended the 65th session of the Harvard Model United Nations Conference also included senior Camila Martinez of Paramus; juniors Taryn Barrett of Paramus, Lucy McAuliffe of Allendale, and Laney Vasseghi of Franklin Lakes; and sophomores Camila Correa of Demarest, Audrey Lee of Demarest, Kate Montesdeoca of Paterson, Eungyo “Ivy” Shin of Harrington Park, Liliette Quintana of Midland Park, Ayanah Taneja of Guttenberg, and Paulina Yannitsadis of Fair Lawn.

Each year, approximately 3,000 students from around the world attend HMUN. As students prepare for the conference they meet regularly to review terminology, research various issues, and participate in simulations. Prospective participants also write position papers that require in-depth research and evaluation.

HMUN Club Moderators Diana Kinney and Jennifer Cucchisi accompanied the Angels on their trip to Boston.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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