Model UN novice team wins VAMUN

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Members of the Model United Nations team traveled to Charlottesville, Va. to compete at the University of Virginia’s Model United Nations (VAMUN) Nov. 10-12.

The team took 22 novice students, as well as eight experienced delegates to coach. These novices were selected after their competitive success at home conferences American Heritage Plantation MUN (AHPMUN) and Heritage’s Unified Delegation MUN (HUDMUN).

The trip served as a bonding experience for a new generation of MUN students. “I’m so grateful we got to become part of the team, even this late in our high school careers. I made so many new friends and it felt amazing to be rooting for my teammates so hard even though I just met a lot of them a few days ago,” senior Charlotte Wu said.

For recreation, the team visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence, enjoyed team dinners, played touch football and completed the traditional ghost tour led by seniors Daniel O’Gorman Sheedy and Victor Rodriguez Grillo. They led everyone around the University’s campus and told ghost stories, culminating in a surprise visit from Class of 2020 alumni Logan Kapit and Jackson Arnberg, who currently attend UVA.

After competing for about 10 hours in committee sessions, 22 students emerged victorious. Despite bringing students, most of whom have never competed at a college-hosted conference before, Heritage MUN won the Outstanding Large Delegation award. “We won this top recognition despite taking a team of mostly novices to a brutally difficult conference. I would argue that the team’s success this weekend is the most unexpected, surprising, satisfying and impressive result we’ve had in my 12 years of working with our program,” advisor Mr. Mark Gruskin said.

A complete list of individual winners is included below:

Best Delegate:  juniors Andy Kizer, Matthew Rodriguez

Outstanding Delegate:  juniors Carlos Margenat Ausere, Ronak Patel, Sophia Kreimerman

Honorable Delegate:  seniors Evan Seifer, Devin Sanders, Anya Pinto, Nicole Bustillo, Elizaveta Vinnik, Jordan AntevyVerbal Commendation:  freshmen Mason Cohen, Jonathan Schwartz, juniors Daniella Guenni, Gino Santos, Sophia Casanova, Calvin Mathew, Shreyan Singha, seniors Alexis Lofton, Charlotte Wu

At VAMUN this year, 20 students won awards out of 30 students competing. In 2019, the record-high number of winners at this conference was nine students. (Photo/Ms. Susana Levy)

Now a senior at American Heritage, Anya returns as Editor-in-Chief of the Patriot Post. With her passion for journalism, she is Co-President of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society. She started an organization called “ActionPAKT: Projects Advocating for a Kinder Tomorrow” to educate youth about current issues and help them take action; currently, she has expanded it to 15+ chapters in multiple countries, raising $17,000 within the Heritage chapter itself. As a Youth Ambassador for Bullets4Life, Anya advocates for gun control. She leads the top Model UN program in the nation as President, competing nationally and organizing conferences at school. To relax, Anya hangs out with friends, swims, goes on walks and binge watches Netflix. She loves the beach, good food and her lazy little dog Simba more than anything.