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May 6, 2024

Student organization builds community and career-ready skills.

Traveling to different cities. Winning major conference awards. Adding impressive lines to a résumé. It’s all in a day’s work for JCCC’s Model United Nations team.

An academic activity simulating the real United Nations, JCCC’s Model UN has been going strong for over 15 years. The group’s successes are documented on the wall of a third floor hallway in OCB. You might lose track counting all the honors—there are over 30!

“They’re an impressive group of JCCC students who have distinguished themselves,” said advisor Brian Wright. “They are outstanding representatives for JCCC charged with building a better understanding of the contemporary world.”

The team’s most recent accolades were the result of their hard work at the Midwest Model UN Conference in St. Louis. There, the team took home the overall Distinguished Delegation Award for their portrayal of South Africa and the overall Honorable Mention Award for their portrayal of Gabon.

JCCC student and Model UN Secretary General Narissa Hampton was the head organizer of the conference. She oversaw the planning and execution of the event, managed the staff, and ensured committee functions went smoothly.

“My goal has always been fostering political literacy and promoting global understanding among students and peers,” said Narissa. “Witnessing the students’ enthusiasm and engagement in understanding global issues not only filled me with pride but also highlighted the potential for positive change that lies within our future leaders.”

How do you prepare for a Model UN conference?

At its core, Model UN teaches fundamental skills necessary for any career or field: communications, conflict resolution and critical thinking. This expertise is solidified as a conference approaches.

When Model UN teams sign up for a conference, they receive their country assignment. Each student also receives a committee and its topics. For this conference, JCCC represented South Africa and Gabon. Each student’s committee assignment posed real-world topics, including issues like climate change, health literacy and disaster risk reduction.   

Students begin by preparing a Position Paper, a persuasive writing exercise where they identify the national view of the country they represent on the subjects under consideration.

Shreya Bhakta, who recently join the JCCC team, won two awards for her work, including Outstanding Position Paper.

“I researched how Gabon, as a small African Nation, responds to climate change,” she said. “I looked into domestic policies involving corporations in Gabon, how they aid in fighting climate change and protecting ecosystems, and Gabon's regional and international involvement with the UN in environmental efforts.”

Conference preparation is a team effort. Model UN hosts weekly sessions providing simulations and speech training. Complex issues are broken down to help students learn these how topics can be understood and debated in useful ways.

JCCC opens Model UN up to the high school community

In addition to JCCC’s impressive Model UN team, the College frequently hosts conferences for high school chapters of Model UN.

This year’s big event, the Metro Kansas City Model United Nations Conference, saw over 400 students from 24 schools on JCCC’s campus.

For Shreya, it reminded her of past conference experiences as a high school Model UN member.

“I did Model UN for two years in high school and throughout middle school,” said Shreya. “At the college level, it’s a very different experience. I would encourage anyone who did Model UN or any speech-related activity previously to try this club since it is such a wonderful and nourishing experience!”

Why should you join Model UN?

While Model UN might seem ideal for someone who wants to run for office someday, Shreya says the skills she gained through her experience are applicable to any college major or life path.

“Participating in Model UN is not limited to only those interested in politics and international relations,” she said. “I’m not majoring in either, but I’ve gained several helpful skills for my academic and professional career.”

Narissa’s experience has also paved the way for future opportunities.

“The practical skills acquired, ranging from adept public speaking to mastering negotiation and diplomacy, have become invaluable assets in the real-world landscape,” she said. “Networking, facilitated by Model UN engagements, has connected me with mentors and professionals in my field.”

JCCC student and Model UN President Ben Knight believes Model UN has something for everyone.

“There are a lot of benefits, such as honing research and public speaking skills, learning diplomacy and how to solve tough topics, and understanding points of view that are different from your own,” he said.

Everyone can benefit from participating in Model UN, and Narissa encourages students to give it a try.

“Model UN’s impact on my future in such a short amount of time stands as a testament to the success and value of the program and reasons why I believe other students should join,” she said.

Join JCCC’s Model UN!

The JCCC Model UN is always looking for new members. Whether you’ve been involved before or are just getting started, this award-winning team is for you.

More information is at