Morgan Park Academy students stood out at the nation’s largest high school Model UN conference, capturing five individual awards among more than 1,000 participants at Saint Ignatius College Prep on Nov. 5, 2022.

Junior Navin Nielsen and seniors Kaleb Bandele, Andrew Cabrera, and Sean Sutton were selected for Outstanding Delegate recognition, while senior Josh Kirksy received honorable mention.

MPA also got strong performances from seniors Olivia Fitch and Arnav Paluri; sophomores Khalilah Adkins and Walter Lopez; and freshmen Varun Paluri and Grant Ring.

MPA students introduced motions, defended positions, and built coalitions while representing various countries in the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

They also participated in simultations of organizations such as Formula One, Coca-Cola, Chicago’s bid to host the Olympics, Gotham City, and the U.S. Congress during the Clinton Administration.

Model UN is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalization, and multilateral diplomacy. Students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organization (IGO).

During a conference, participants must employ a variety of communication and critical thinking skills to represent the policies of their country. These skills include public speaking, group communication, research, policy analysis, active listening, negotiating, conflict resolution, note taking, and technical writing. The conference allows participants to learn about the countries they are assigned to represent and gain an understanding of international relations.