LIVINGSTON, NJ — Several Heritage Middle School (HMS) students recently earned high honors at the Junior Model United Nations (UN) Program, hosted by Drew University and the NJ Consortium of Gifted and Talented (GT) Programs. Three HMS teams earned the distinction of “Outstanding Delegation,” while two teams earned “Best Position Paper” recognition.

Model UN is a program that allows students in middle school to experience the workings of the United Nations as delegates of the member states. Led by HMS GT teacher Karin Pinto, Model UN team members practice debate skills, negotiating from different perspectives and teamwork.

In preparation for the Model UN convocation, students in groups of three researched an assigned country and an assigned “Sustainable Development Goal.” They wrote position papers outlining their country’s situation and views, and then made recommendations for addressing issues. The middle school students became experts in areas such as quality education, creation of sustainable cities, and promoting institutions to end violence.

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Winning “Outstanding Delegation” honors were the following Livingston students:

  • Nishna Makala, Sylvie Friedman, and Varun Sohal, representing France in the committee to develop institutions to end violence;
     
  • Max Miller, Jason Yu, and Aalok Dhurandhar, representing Brazil in the committee developing sustainable cities; and 
     
  • Michael Diamond, Alan Hu, and Andrew Deng, representing Vietnam in the committee to develop institutions to end violence. 

Winning “Best Position Paper” recognition were:

  • Daisy Yao, Clare Luo, and Anlin Wei, representing Nigeria in the committee for quality education; and 
     
  • Robert Wang, Joanna Liu and Lucy Yu, representing the United Kingdom in the committee for quality education.

“The team received many commendations,” said Pinto. “The students look forward to debriefing their experience as diplomats.”