The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Model UN Takes Oahu

Upper Schoolers Attend a Conference in Oahu, Hawaii
Photo credit: Jeanne Barr
Parker’s Model UN delegates celebrate after the PACMUN conference.

Every year, Parker’s high school Model UN delegates have the opportunity to attend one of two trips sponsored by the club. This year, the first conference was the Pacific Model United Nations (PACMUN). From November 14 through 20, 16 Parker students and club sponsors Jeanne Barr and Kevin Conlon worked their way through debating and exploring the island of Oahu, Hawaii. 

“This was my first time traveling for Model UN, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that was given to me to experience PACMUN,” senior Saroya Ornelas Pagnucci said. “It was such an amazing experience. It was so well run, and the dedication that the Secretariat, Chairs, and Crisis Staff had to the conference was evident. I enjoyed meeting new people from high schools as well.” 

This was the Pacific Model United Nations 10th anniversary. The conference took place at The Hawai‘i Convention Center and committee sessions took place all day on November 18 and 19. As every conference is different and has a range of expectations, PACMUN made sure during the opening ceremony to ensure schools understand their core values. These values consist of Kuleana (Responsibility), Laulima (Collaboration), Pono (Justice), Alaka‘i (Leadership), and ‘Ike Loa (Search of Knowledge). Schools from all over the United States, including New York, California, and Hawaii attended. 

Sophomore Payton Yagoda also had a good first experience at this conference. “This was my first Model UN trip and I enjoyed it,” said Yagoda. “The people there were super nice, and it was cool to meet everyone and find out where everyone was from.” 

At the end of the conference, when it was time for the closing ceremony and awards, some of Parker’s delegates were recognized. Freshman Sascha Keller received an honorable mention, Birdie Goldblatt was given a research award and outstanding delegate, and other members were given verbal commendations. 

“I worked pretty hard, and I’m proud of myself for being able to develop improvisational speech and further skills,” sophomore Noah Michenaud said. “I got a verbal commendation along with a couple of others; I was happy about that.”

Not only did students get to practice their skills in Model UN, but for the four days they weren’t in symposia, they got to spend time soaking in the sun and visiting the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, the Iolani Palace, and other cultural sites, as well as taking in the natural beauty of the island.

“Where we went in Hawaii was super beautiful and enjoyable, and it was such a nice experience,” Yagoda said. “There were a couple of days that the counselors let us have all this freedom to spend on our own. It was nice that they trusted us, and it was fun to spend time with friends.” Along with Yagoda, junior Birdie Goldblat also enjoyed her time outside of PACMUN. 

“My favorite part of the trip was touring Oahu,” Goldblatt said. “Our tour guide was born in Hawaii so we got to experience the culture of Oahu respectfully and off the beaten path.”

From snorkeling to touring, there wasn’t much time to waste, and nobody could get enough of it. When students weren’t with the whole group, they had time to go off and do individual activities. 

Freshman Sascha Keller especially enjoyed this. “We were given a good amount of free time,” said Keller. “We could spend it however. We could go to the beach, shop on the Waikiki strip, and a few of us even rented boogie boards. I thought it was nice because we just spent all that time inside at the conference.”

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About the Contributor
Chloe Deutsch, Culture Critic & Brief Writer
Chloe Deutsch is a sophomore who is so excited to be this year's culture critic and one of your brief writers! This is her second year working with "The Weekly" after being a staff writer. When she isn't writing, you can find her scrolling on Pinterest, reading a book, or hanging out with friends.