By Amber Avila and Dveen Hagopian
On Saturday, February 8, Model United Nations (MUN) held a conference on the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) High School campus, where students from across the San Fernando Valley engaged in debate to find solutions to complicated global issues. This was the Valley Regional Model United Nations (VRMUN) conference and GHC delegates who demonstrated exceptional speaking skills and strong knowledge of content took home many wins.
Among these winning students was junior Joel Yong, who received the first place award for Best Delegate. This is Yong’s first year in MUN.
“Winning an award for Best Delegate is a great honor. I worked hard preparing for this conference, and it feels good to be recognized for my effort. The fact that this was Granada’s first conference makes the win even more special,” Yong said.
Much occurred behind the scenes of this conference, given that this was GHC’s very first time hosting a MUN conference on campus. From inviting regional teams to choosing committee topics, the event’s success is credited to senior Malaika Jamal and her leadership team who collaborated on this project for over a year. Jamal was the Secretary General of VRMUN.
“All in all it was a collaborative effort and I would not have been able to do it without my amazing team, staff, and advisors. The purpose of VRMUN was to allow novices in our area to have an immersive and educational experience to further their MUN journey,” Jamal said.
MUN is a program where students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. The process teaches students public speaking and debate skills, critical thinking, and helps them develop important leadership abilities. Due to the conference’s success, the GHC MUN team plans to host this event annually.
“VRMUN was a huge step forward in proving how serious and competitive our MUN team is as well as how dedicated we are to establishing MUN in our own community,” Jamal said.
English teacher and MUN supervisor Joshua Mandell expressed his pride towards his students and the success of the conference.
“The staff ran this conference better than I ever expected. This was the first of many conferences here at GHC, and we are all so excited for the community to be involved. This was an overall wonderful event,” Mandell said.