Seventeen-year-old Justin Andrews had only traveled to his parents’ native island of Jamaica, so when the Model United Nations student got the chance to head over to Beijing, China in July, it’s safe to say he was a little out of his comfort zone. Andrews, who graduated from Elmont High School in June and first became active in Model U.N. as a seventh-grader had attended many debates and conferences, but his trip to China was by far the most eye-opening Andrews said.
Model U.N. has a long history of developing strong students at Elmont High School. The worldwide program simulates a United Nations-like environment and educates students on current events, international relations, diplomacy and United Nations’ policy. Students take on the role of a certain nation or interest group and partake in a simulated session that would regularly occur at the U.N. Students research the country they represent and discuss and debate real world problems.
Being involved in Model U.N. was one of the best decisions he made Andrews said. It gave him the confidence to succeed in high school and develop strong verbal skills. “It gave you the skills you needed to be confident speaking with people outside of your community,” he said.
Andrews was known as a standout participant in Model U.N. at Elmont High School. The teenager participated in many prestigious conferences like the North American Model United Nations Conference, the Rutgers Model United Nations Conference and the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference. Even with all of that preparation, Andrews said he still felt an added pressure on his trip to China.