It’s not every day that a teenager feels the weight of international affairs on his shoulders. On Friday, April 16, Finn Carton, an eighth-grader from The Rumson Country Day School, was tasked with representing Japan in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Middle School Model UN Conference. Finn was one of over 100 students from eight schools who collaborated to simulate the United Nations committee hosted virtually by Christian Brothers Academy. He and the rest of the RCDS Model UN team demonstrated great skill and composure under pressure in order to claim multiple awards including “Best Position Paper” and “Best Delegate”.
“We are immensely proud of our students’ preparation, scholarship, enthusiasm, and achievement,” said Tom Scott, Head of RCDS’s History Department. “Each of our delegates represented RCDS wonderfully and exemplified our Four Pillars – Kind, Honest, Responsible and Respectful. If world issues could be solved by this crew, I would be very optimistic about the future!”
Finn attributes his and his teammates’ accomplishments to the ability to articulate a message confidently in front of an audience and debate with their opponents tactfully.
“Preparation is key to feeling comfortable and confident,” said Finn. “I’ve always loved to perform in front of an audience, but you need to prepare to succeed. When I was in school plays, I had to learn my lines, but for Model UN I needed to fully understand my topic in order to express my opinion, have a respectful argument and find ways to compromise with others on the spot. Reading a lot, gathering sources and taking notes – trying to create this arsenal of knowledge that I could tap into during the conference helped calm my nerves.”
Strong research, public speaking and debate skills are an important part of the RCDS culture and curriculum – something Finn and his fellow teammates have come to appreciate. Model UN gives students the opportunity to practice these essential life skills by collaborating in group meetings, taking part in extensive research assignments and exhibiting their knowledge on stage in a simulated setting. While this year’s conference was slightly different than in year’s past, live video technology offered students the platform to continue to take advantage of the Model UN experience despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“It’s something I’ve really come to enjoy,” said Finn referring to taking the stage. “The more times I speak in front of a group of people, the more comfortable I feel.” Finn plans to attend Christian Brothers Academy as a freshman next year and looks forward to taking advantage of multiple co-curricular opportunities to hone his craft as a public speaker and performer.
RCDS Award Winners Included:
Peter Bird- Best Delegate – President Ronald Reagan (The Berlin Wall: 1986)
Henry Bird - Best Delegate – India (UNOOSA: Colonization of Mars)
Finn Carton - Best Position Paper – Japan (International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): North Korea)
- Awards & Accolades