Are You My Mentor?

by Alexander deMurias ’15

[This is part five in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

For MMUN, my partner Alec Perez and I created a Non-Governmental Organization to get ready for the conference. We wrote an action plan and sent it to the president of the NGO Forum. Once she approved our plan, we got the go-ahead to come to the conference.

Our NGO was called the WPI (Wildlife Protection Initiative). Our long-term goal was to house and protect endangered species all around the globe, but first we started out small. We decided to focus on honeybees and bats because these important species are becoming threatened due to the impacts of climate change.

IMG_1723The first part of our action plan was to build and set up bee and bat boxes around the South Shore. By doing this, we hoped to increase the population of our chosen animals. To accomplish the building, we planned to partner with Alexander Shooshan, a local woodworker (and a classmate of ours) who would help us build the boxes. Then, we planned to work with Ellyn Einhorn, a local ecologist (and a former teacher of ours) to partner with Mass Audubon, where we would go on to teach the children who signed up for a summer camp program there. After successfully increasing the bat and honeybee populations locally and spreading awareness and education to our immediate South Shore community, we planned to gradually expand our NGO around the country and eventually even around the world.

During the actual conference in New York City, we worked with many students from Montessori schools around the world. All of those delegates had also developed action plans for their NGOs. When we were all together at the conference, we worked together to brainstorm about how we could make our NGOs better. We wrote mission statements for our NGOs, developed budgets for our NGOs, and presented to a large audience about our final NGO plans. My favorite step of this process was meeting with an experienced mentor who would help us with our NGOs.

IMG_1615Each group was paired up with a mentor based on what our organizations were trying to do and what the mentors had experience with. Our mentor, Aislin, has experienced and participated in an organization that handled a similar problem to the one that our NGO was working on. Since our mentor really understood what we were working on, she was able to help us come up with different ideas for how to get funds and what the possible partners should be for our NGO.

To prepare for the meeting with our mentor we had to come up with a short pitch that described the problem we were trying to solve and the solution to the problem. After we gave our pitch to Aislin, she gave us really helpful feedback and told us about her past experiences and how they related and what could be helpful to our NGO. Also, there were other delegates meeting with our same mentor during the meeting. We got to hear their pitches and hear Aislin’s feedback on them. This was also helpful because the other delegates’ NGOs were related to ours, so we could use the feedback they got and apply it to our organizations. Meeting with Aislin showed me that NGOs can actually work very well if you spend time planning them out. It was cool to think about whether our NGO would actually survive in the real world, and Aislin helped us see that it could.


For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

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