Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Devanie Duwyenie, a junior at Mountain View High School, is currently taking an advanced-placement class, Comparative Government/ Model United Nations. AP Comparative Government is classified as a scholastic club, but Duwyenie is taking it as a class along with several of her classmates.
Model U.N. is a national and international academic program that teaches students to be better citizens through educational experiences in civics, current events, effective communications and government. Students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of the United Nations. Participants choose and research a particular country to represent, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.
Each year the national Model U.N. Conference is held in New York City near the headquarters of the United Nations. College students from Model U.N. programs in colleges across the United States and from around the world take part.
Duwyenie and the other Model U.N. students at Mountain View are planning to attend this year’s conference in New York, April 18-23. The students were told the cost for the trip would be more than $1,000, which includes airfare and lodging.
“The trip is for the Model United Nations, the big conference that will be held in New York City. It is the main conference that colleges try to travel to each year,” said Duwyenie.
Duwyenie and her family recently held a food sale to help raise money to attend the conference.
Mountain View Model U.N. is one of the most successful high school programs in the country, earning recognition at both local Model U.N. conferences and international collegiate conferences. The New York conference is primarily for college Model U.N. chapters, but this year Mountain View High School was invited.
During each conference, the Model U.N. student “delegates” are given a new subject based on the countries that the students are interested in learning about throughout the world.
“I am [on the] second committee in the General Assembly and I have to write a paper about assuring developing countries’ sovereignty over their natural resources, promoting sustainable practices and transactional operations, and a durable solution to their debt problems,” said Duwyenie. “So you just have to write about your country’s policy and how they feel about the subject and what they suggest the United Nations do to better it.”
Local Model U.N. conferences that take place at Valley community colleges during the year, and for those Duwyenie submits policy statements of about three paragraphs each. However, for the New York conference the writing assignment is two to three pages.
“So far I noticed that I have become a stronger writer and I have learned a lot more about the government and different countries,” said Duwyenie. “It kind of opened my eyes to what is around us and what is going on in the world today.”
Every Friday the class focuses on international news; students bring in a news article about something that has happened in the world.
This is the first year Duwyenie has been a part of the Model U.N. and government club. During her sophomore year when she was picking out classes for her junior year, she had the option of signing up for the politics class, and it interested her.
She is currently on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Youth Council and plans to run for SRPMIC Tribal Council in the future. She has been on the Youth Council since she was 11. “It gives me something to do other than just sitting at home and watching TV,” said Duwyenie.
She is already making future plans: She wants to run for Miss Salt River and attend college out of state. She has received a lot of encouragement from people telling her to try, rather than not try and have regrets later in life.
To help her earn the money for the New York trip, Duwyenie’s family is planning on having more fundraisers, so please keep your eyes open for fliers throughout the Community and help support this young lady in her future endeavors.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Manning at (480) 204-7537 or Mary Andrews at (480) 247-1296.