Eighth-grader Cherry Sung’s passion for climate resilience is well-known within the Chadwick community. As founder of the award-winning student club Greener is Cleaner, Cherry has been advocating for the environment and creating opportunities for others to join her since Grade 6. Last year, Cherry’s interest in environmental issues led her to begin participating in Model United Nations conferences. Thanks to her impressive efforts, Cherry was awarded the highest honor for her level, Best Middle School Delegate, at the Yonsei Model United Nations conference in January.
Model United Nations, or more commonly referred to as MUN, attracts hundreds of thousands of students worldwide to conferences each year. Typically, students act as delegates representing the interests of an assigned country and research, debate and create policy for a pressing global issue. Cherry was selected for the award based on a number of factors including her overall participation, her understanding of the topics and positions, and her behavior and attitude as a delegate. The Yonsei Model United Nations conference is considered one of the most prestigious in Korea and is the only MUN conference recognized by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While Cherry’s original interest in MUN stemmed from her tireless climate advocacy, she credits the experience with helping her to strengthen a number of skills. Having participated in 10 conferences over the past year, Cherry has gained confidence in her public speaking and her ability to hold her own in competitive and high-pressure situations. Cherry plans to continue her participation in MUN and true to form, she is also encouraging other students to join her by organizing a conference in April (more information for interested students is available here).
Perhaps the most important takeaway from her time with MUN is a skill that Cherry describes as a “lens to view and find solutions that reflect consensus.” In these complicated and turbulent times, this is a skill that Cherry will surely continue to use as a global citizen and leader, both today and in the future.