Hinsdale Central High School's student-led Model U.N. program raises $18K for Yemen crisis

HINSDALE, Ill. (WLS) -- Most high school students like to spend their free time doing anything but school work, but a group of students at Hinsdale Central are taking their extracurricular activities to a global scale.

These students created a student-run Model United Nations program called H-MUN.

"What H-MUN is, is a conference that we host every summer for students to participate in so they're participating in Model U.N. through us, H-MUN," said Ammar Hussein, the group's co-founder.

Many high schools offer a Model U.N. program, where students can learn about diplomacy and international relations.

Co-Founder Zamaan Qureshi said H-MUN gives the students more control over "some of the factors involved with Model U.N."

"We could dictate the topics that we were talking about. We could create different committees, and have different people talking about specific things through the conference," Qureshi said.

Billson Rasavongxay is the high school's social studies department chair who's helping with the H-MUN program.

"The kids were so great and so well prepared, so organized that we said, 'Yeah, we'll jump on, whatever help you need, how can we help in terms of logistics, structure, anything at all?' Little did we know, they had everything planned out," Rasavongxay said.

H-MUN Member Ellie Mather said she was the delegate for Iran on the disarmament and international security committee.

"You have to represent your country's beliefs, even if they aren't exactly aligned with your own, which can be difficult at times," Mather said.

"If you think about it, organizing events like this and putting together documents like this is a lot of what working in the real world is like," said Anda Kubat, H-MUN's assistant chair of security. "So I think it's giving me those skills I can't get out of a classroom."

Teacher Sanskirti Patel expects the students to get more students involved in the program next summer.
"We're thinking about something maybe in South America, we're looking at Brazil, or something like the Uighur crisis in China," Hussein said.

Qureshi said, "We're on our way to college next year so we're trying to look for those individuals who really shine in our eyes and can bring this organization into the future."

The H-MUN conference held earlier this year had over 75 delegates from 26 different schools. They raised nearly $18,000 for the Yemen crisis.
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