The 2019 Harvard Model United Nations drew more than 3,000 high school students from roughly 50 countries to Boston in January.
Not everyone leaves with an award. In fact, only a small percentage of students receive any sort of recognition following the four-day event.
Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Liam Etti '20 not only earned an award; he received an email from a director within 24 hours of the conclusion of the conference praising him on his diplomatic ability.
Liam, who said he put in roughly 100 hours of preparation for this year's Model UN, received one of the few Outstanding Delegate Awards following his efforts as he represented Congo-Brazzaville on the special committee for the Renegotiation of the Formation of the Organization African Unity in 1962.
Liam on the challenges he faced at the 2019 Model UN: "You have to be completely in character for all of your time there. It's extremely challenging. Imagine having to have the positions of someone completely different from a time period you're not currently in, and be an expert in the political field, then debate at a high level on issues that took place in 1962 from the perspective of someone who's in 1962. It's a paradox of conflicting information that you're poring over. It's not easy."
Liam on winning an award: "It's validation for all the hard work. Everyone from the program puts in so much work. To win an award is an example of the effort we put into these. Model UN is such a big part of this school's message. It's great to be a part of it."
WMA Model UN faculty leader Gary Cook on what makes Liam distinctive at Model UN: "What makes Liam stand out is, even for our simulations while we're rehearsing, he's in full character as an African delegate. He uses a little bit of his mannerisms, and uses his voice inflection. He brings the role-playing to a unique level. I walked in Friday night during a simulation and he was dressed in his African garb. He had the entire committee standing around him while he was discussing and debating something, and that was Liam. He brings out a persona that stands out in the environment."