Reviving Model UN at Carroll: Meet Mia Harrison '23
Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2023 edition of Reflections. Click here to read the entire magazine.
Mia Harrison ‘23 has her sights set on working in the US State Department using diplomacy to change the world. This year, she revived a club at Archbishop Carroll High School to help her make that dream come true.
Starting a new chapter of the Model United Nations at Carroll was a project she began as a freshman but had to put on hold as the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything about how schools and group events like the Model UN summit operated in Ohio and around the world. Now as a senior, Mia was able to bring that group to life at Carroll with the help of Social Studies teacher Mrs. Courtney (Griffith) Thompson ‘16.
“As long as you have the support and structure in place or a teacher who is enthusiastic about putting it in place, it’s easier than you might think to start
a club like this at Carroll,” Harrison said. “Mrs. Thompson was energetic about getting us involved.”
Harrison and Thompson met about once a month over the summer to lay the groundwork for the rest of the club members and work through logistical
hurdles to register for the conference scheduled for December 2022. Once the school year began, they met two or three times a month with the other 14 club members to prepare resolutions for the countries they chose to represent at the conference: Nicaragua, Fiji, and Nigeria.
The three geographically and politically diverse nations offered the students an opportunity to focus on a specific problem facing those countries and work within the UN’s 17 goals to solve it. The group representing Fiji proposed building more hydroelectric dams to help grow tourism while preserving the country’s natural resources and beauty. The delegation for Nigeria chose to build resource centers for the country’s citizens. For Nicaragua, the delegation led by Mia, the students proposed that the UN oversee the country’s elections to ensure a fair outcome and protect citizens who express dissent over the current regime’s policies.
All three groups presented their country’s resolution. Out of 150 resolutions prepared by students across Ohio, the Nicaraguan delegation was one of 35 to pass the preliminary security council for presentation to the General Assembly for debate to become official UN policy.
“I was ecstatic to be able to present in that room,” Harrison said. “Your bill is read, and other members of the conference either attempt to destroy or support it. I had been waiting to do this my entire high school career, and it finally happened. I felt blessed and grateful that we put this together.”
Although the bill did not become policy, Mia and the rest of the students were grateful for a true cross-curricular experience. After learning about injustices in Central America during Spanish and religion classes, researching their nations and writing resolutions showed the students where the UN Goals and Catholic Social Teaching overlap.
“When you look at the seven components of Catholic Social Teaching, you see that they align very closely with the UN Goals,” Harrison said. “What the goals of the UN and Catholic Church are trying to do are similar to what a lot of people want the world to be like, and Carroll lets it be known that we are working towards those goals.”
Mia Harrison was recognized as an Outstanding Leader at the conference and Maria Camacho '23 was recognized as the runner-up in an essay contest for her response to a prompt about world peace.