Chilliwack students go global

Four students from A.D. Rundle will be participating in a Model United Nations (UN) conference in Vancouver in April.

Trinity Redekop isn’t confident in public speaking, but she is confident in debating worldly issues.

Next month, the Grade 9 student will be doing both at a Model United Nations (UN) conference held in Vancouver.

Redekop is one of four students from A.D. Rundle middle school participating in the conference; the only school from Chilliwack.

Model UN is a conference similar to the United Nations in which students participate as delegates for various UN committees where participants research and formulate political positions based on the actual policies of the countries they represent.

This is the second year A.D Rundle is participating. Notably, the school will be of the youngest delegates in attendance.

Most are in grades 11 and 12.

“It is a quantum leap in terms of the rigors required of them; there’s a lot of academic thinking involved,” said vice principal and leadership teacher Galen Soon.

“It’s a stretching experience, but rewarding as well. Last year two of our three students weren’t comfortable with public speaking, but by the end they were confident and had done a fabulous job.”

It’s also an opportunity for A.D. Rundle to promote the greatness of its school within the Chilliwack community and beyond. A school, that over the years, has been negatively labelled.

Unfairly, said Soon.

“We have some pretty great students at this school.”

Last year, A.D. Rundle had 10 applicants and could only send three. Model UN is partly funded by the school’s Parents’ Advisory Council. This year, it had 30, and could send four.

“It was tough selecting the students because we want to be able to take all the kids and provide them with this opportunity, but it came down to the dollar figures,” said Soon.

For the conference, A.D. Rundle will be a part of the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) and will be representing Rwanda, Portugal, Netherlands, and Brazil.

It’s a committee Trinity Redekop is sure she’ll excel in.

Unlike many teens her age, rather than debating the merits of high fashion or celebrity gossip, Redekop prefers worldly issues, often bringing up high brow topics like war and human rights with her peers.

“I like to express my opinion on things and get my point across – I’m that person,” she said, smiling.

And while she’s nervous about the public speaking aspect, she’s excited about the overall experience.

“I don’t like talking in front of people, it’s one of my greatest fears,” she said. “But I’m really looking forward to learning about the different countries’ views on the conflicts going on right now, and how other delegates feel about them, and what they think should be done.”

The Canadian High Schools Model United Nations Conference is from April 4 to 11 at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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