CCA Live Blog - Follow Our Model United Nations Team in New York City

The Community College of Aurora Model United Nations team is in New York this week to participate in National Model United Nations. All week long we will update this blog with images, updates, thoughts, and other insight from CCA students and staff as we join them on their journey. Keep following this space for periodic updates. You can also follow the CCA Model UN Facebook page for more live updates.

Updated 3/27: CCA's Model United Nations team is back from successfully bringing home another Honorable Mention award from the National Model United Nations conference in New York City last week. Below are some thoughts from some of the team members about their experiences:

Justin Taylor: I have been exceptionally fortunate in the depth of the opportunities that I have had as a student here at the Community College of Aurora. Chief among these, I have represented CCA three times now in the National Model United Nations conference in New York City. I have written on those experiences in the past. While each year has been transformative for me, I feel that this year, the lessons I have learned, and the observations I made of myself and of others, are profound and important. I watched this team learn and grow. In a few cases, I knew these wonderful students prior to their appointments to the team, and I would like to think that I had a hand in shaping the team from behind the scenes prior to their selection. As a team, they came together and flourished under the guidance of their Head Delegate (a sort of team captain), Jesus Calderon. He shaped them into the team and family that they are. Their successes are directly attributable to him. About a month prior to the conference, I was called into the office of Dr. Bobby Pace, the Social Sciences Chair for CCA, and the proverbial man behind the curtain who makes this project happen. Jesus, he said, would be unable to attend the conference for personal reasons. He asked me to step in, which I accepted.  It is, after all, the duty of a delegate to act in the name of another. It was bittersweet, taking the place in New York of someone who had given so much. But this team had worked incredibly hard. They were prepared. They all performed incredibly well. To me, there were two great moments in this conference. The first was after the first night of committee sessions. The entire team gathered in my hotel room, and we had a video call with Jesus. There was a tremendous amount of camaraderie and love in that room. He wasn't able to be present due to extenuating circumstances, but he still was the beating heart of the team. The second of these great moments came within my own committee in the conference. Two major projects were trying to merge into one cohesive body of work, but the authors were completely at odds with one another as to if or how that should occur. Delegates from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico (represented by myself) were in such disagreement that the project was in real danger of falling apart entirely. But in the end, it only took one idea to reconcile these disparate voices and allow diplomacy to move forward. It gave me a tremendous amount of hope. We're living in a time that often fills many of us with dread. But I saw something beautiful that week. I saw a team become a family. I saw enemies become friends. In a time when it feels like people are falling apart, I saw people come together. It is something that I needed to see. It took one person to bring these people together as a family. It took one person's idea to make diplomacy function. After three years, I believe in this program, in this school, in the idea that one person can make a difference. And if only one message is carried away from reading what I have to say, I hope it is this: Be that person. I believe it's in you. CCA believes it. Rise to it, and make it so.

Gina Whyte: The NMUN in New York was unsurprisingly an incredible experience, Seeing the city through such a close lens brought distant admiration into tangible aw-striking reality. The conference made me walk away with a feeling of hope that collaboration and negotiation among nations could bring about solutions and peace to even the most pressing issues by way of the United Nations as an institution. I couldn't help but feel prideful knowing I was part of that. The sessions gave me confidence in my leadership skills and capabilities. The friendships made along the way were a pleasant surprise and enhanced all the time spent there.” Cole Higgins: I loved the authentic experience that this trip has provided me I feel like a real delegate involved in international business. I had cheesecake and gold fish for breakfast one morning and I feel like one cannot get more authentic than that.

Updated 3/23: Congratulations to the CCA Model United Nations team for again receiving an honorable mention at the National Model United Nations Conference! This is the third year in a row that CCA's team has received this award; more than 5,000 college students attend National Model United Nations and dozens of colleges compete from across the U.S. and the world. Left: CCA student Isabel Rayborn holds up the honorable mention award that CCA's Model United Nations team won. The CCA Model UN team visited the United Nations General Assembly Hall today for the closing ceremony. During the ceremony, the team listened to many influential speakers involved with global policy and issues.   The team is finally able to rest after a hard week of staying up late, sometimes as late as 1 a.m., and waking up early, getting up as early as 5 to 6 a.m. This is also the culmination of months of preparation by Dr. Bobby Pace and the nearly 20 students who participated on the CCA Model United Nations Team. -

Update provided by Jesus Calderon, CCA Model United Nations Head Delegate, who is communicating with the team remotely in Colorado.    

Updated 3/22: Today was the final conference day - the team voted on resolutions for their committees. It's their final voting day; everything they are supposed to do they have to finish by today. So far, most of the CCA team have been successful in gathering support for their papers from their fellow committee members; those committee members are comprised of students from different universities all over the world. CCA is representing Mexico at the Model United Nations. I've been communicating with them via Facebook Live; I started communicating on Sunday night and we had our final call last night. I speak to them one on one about how they represent their role in representing Mexico and how they can succeed in their participation and how they can do better. The CCA team is discussing how issues such as climate change, countering violent extremism, sustainable development, and other items affect Mexico and the world overall. The CCA team is proposing solutions based on what Mexico has done historically in the past and then suggesting how these solutions can be brought to a global scale. Tonight, the team has a free day and on Thursday, March 23, the team will visit UN Global Headquarters and see the General Assembly Hall. The concluding ceremony is at the General Assembly Hall on March 23 and at that time CCA students and staff will find out how CCA performed.

- Update provided by Jesus Calderon, CCA Model United Nations Head Delegate, who is communicating with the team remotely in Colorado.  




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