Whitehall-Yearling High School students representing three countries at this year's Ohio Model United Nation's 2012 Summit earned several awards and accolades.
It's quickly becoming a tradition at Whitehall-Yearling.
Although the school's Model U.N. no longer is a regularly scheduled class, participation is booming. This is the eighth year the high school has participated in Ohio's Model U.N. summit. According to past records, students from Whitehall have received a number of awards every year they have participated.
A total of 22 students from Whitehall-Yearling represented three countries, including Malaysia, Russia and the Philippines, at this year's summit, held Dec. 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus.
At the group's most recent summit, one of the school's three teams, Malaysia, earned the title of Outstanding Nation, awarded to the top two nations out of the 175 represented.
Whitehall-Yearling senior Amina Abokor also won an Outstanding Leader Award, presented to only 12 delegates out of the 1,200 students who participated in the summit.
Senior Chorsie Calbert served as a council president, leading resolutions debates while helping to organize and run the summit.
Junior Jiawen Zhen was elected as council president for next year's summit.
Freshman Zi Wong was chosen as the runner-up in the Global Issues Essay contest for her essay on global poverty and hunger.
The group's adviser, Lisa Christy, called the students' participation a success.
The Ohio Model United Nations Summit is a three-day simulation program in which student delegates represent selected member nations of the United Nations and participate in writing, presenting and debating original resolutions that address current world problems, issues and political situations.
Student delegates also participate in global education contests and international talent showcases and serve as student leaders of the program.
Students representing Malaysia attended this month's regular Whitehall Board of Education meeting and performed a song for the panel.
The song was the group's talent entry that was presented to the delegates as part of its overall presentation during the December summit. Using native drums in their original rendition, the group incorporated rap and traditional Malaysian music into the pop song, Airplane, by B.o.B., giving listeners a brief history lesson and a taste of the Malaysian language and culture.
Christy said the summit is an opportune time for students to hone their communication, presentation, debate and research skills, regardless of whether they plan to enter politics.
"I like the world perspective also," she said. "They have to act and debate as if they were citizens of the country they are representing. Even in their voting, they cannot think like Americans."
She said aside from being an exciting experience, delegates are polishing life skills that would span a myriad of careers, all of which require a certain level of leadership.
"The students pretty much run the show," she said.
Ohio's Model U.N. was born as a classroom event for 100 students in southeastern Ohio in 1982. Since then the program has expanded to become the largest of its kind in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation.