The student delegation from California High School in San Ramon took top honors during the 30th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference, which this year was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cal High received the Outstanding Delegation Award for its efforts at the Contra Costa County Office of Education's annual conference, which this year saw 150 high school students from seven high schools strive to work together and tackle the most pressing issues facing the planet.
“We are pleased to see high school students throughout our county, the Bay Area, and beyond participate in our Model UN program,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said in a statement.
“It is certainly admirable that during the challenges of COVID-19 that these students and their advisors found the extra time to learn about the United Nations and world issues. When you watch the students in committee sessions, it is evident of the hard work and preparation they have put in, as they successfully discuss, persuade, and work with fellow committee members on real-world problems and complex international relations,” Mackey added.
During the conference, topics discussed included the COVID-19 pandemic, ocean pollution, access to clean water, nuclear disarmament, misinformation in the media, gender equity and children in armed conflict, to name a few.
Attempting to solve these issues for the betterment of their assigned countries and the world, delegates debated international issues in 10 committees, including Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), World Health Organization (WHO), Security Council (UNSC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"Along with learning about the organization and world issues, Model UN is an excellent opportunity for students to display all the hard work and preparation they have put in, as they successfully discuss, persuade and work with fellow committee members on real-world problems and complex international relations," county officials said in a statement. "The skills they are currently refining with this program, such as research and presentation, will be the same ones they’ll use in college and/or in their future careers."
For its exemplary reasoning and problem solving, Cal High received the Outstanding Delegation Award by county officials who were judging the day-long competition. San Ramon's Dougherty Valley High School also participated in the competition and had several students praised for their efforts.
Additionally, two SRVUSD students received the coveted Outstanding Delegate Award, with Cal High's Alicia Loney receiving the award for representing France and Dougherty Valley's Amy Starling doing the same while representing Canada.