International Emerging Leaders Program

at Collegiate School



Today marked the final day of BIMUN, which did not end quietly. After an introspective discussion led by Monsieur Bassin of the United Nations International School in New York, delegates returned to their committees for two final sessions. My committee, ACNUR (or UNHCR), spent the time wrapping up talks about plans to aid Syrian refugees, and how to navigate the controversial issue. After writing a second working paper and getting it passed by the entire committee, I finished the seventh and final session with a great feeling of accomplishment. Soon after, delegates and students were treated to a pizza lunch at the school and we were all able to enjoy the incredible weather.

 After committees officially ended, the chairs gave out special awards within the individual committees, with names ranging from “Machine Gun” (for the most intense delegate), to “Wafflera” (for the delegate who “cuts the others into pieces”), to Barbie (the prettiest delegate). Collegiate is proud to have not one, not two, but three Barbies in its ranks. As the Syrian Arab Republic, I received “Machine Gun”, “Wafflera”, “Dalmata” (for the one who ruins your day), and “Wikipedia” (for the one who has the facts).  After receiving the fun awards, delegates came downstairs to the beautiful amphitheater area for the Closing Ceremony. We were once again treated to a flag ceremony incorporating Carol Baur students and the Mexican Army Band, and a beautiful traditional dance performance. Several Carol Baur students and faculty spoke to the crowd, including BIMUN’s Secretary General and under-Secretaries. Then, committee chairs spoke about their group’s work over the past three days, and presented the Best Delegate and Honorable Delegate awards. I was honored to receive the Best Delegate award in my committee, but I could not have done it without the support of my fellow ACNUR delegates, McGee and Kate.

It goes without saying that Carol Baur put on an incredible event and that I and my fellow students are incredibly grateful for the experience. We are sad to finish such a significant part of our trip, but we are looking forward to immersing ourselves in Mexican culture as the week goes on.

Pleasantly suprised


I went into day t thinking that it would be the worst day of the trip because the conference was all day, but I was wrong – today was great. Caroline and I woke up exhausted but our host mom made us homemade coffee, homemade banana bread, and papaya. It was delicious. We then left for school and I really enjoyed Señor Queipo’s talk… he filled me with hope that change is actually possible, and his love for humanity warmed my heart. I loved when he quoted that, “we are our brothers’ keeper.”

After Señor Queipo’s talk, we headed to begin our second day in our committees.  My committee was good and I felt more comfortable talking today. We discussed female empowerment and all agreed easily on our proposals, but after we had written them all out, 2/3 sponsors left to write the resolution paper. While they were gone, the sponsor and delegate representing Saudi Arabia staged a coup and became a dictator to keep us all entertained. She was saying that since she’s the sponsor she was going to take away woman’s rights.  All the fellow delegates were so confused and I could not stop laughing- (it was bad because we aren’t allowed to laugh).   There were quite a few more surprises that made us continue to laugh.

After a long day of conferencing we got home and ate a delicious dinner of sopes and now are watching Mexican Netflix with Marisol. I love Mexico!

Virginia S.

Curve ball – Day 1 session



After lunch on the first day, our collegiate group dispersed to multiple rooms to have a model UN debate or personal opinion discussion. I represented The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the historical committee to change history by debating the topics of the creation of Israel and the subject of Capitalism versus Communism. As I researched my topic, I was unaware that at the beginning of the committee, the delegates in the committee would vote on which time period we would discuss. I prepared for the debate to be during the time period of the 1920s because the British assumed control over the region according to a decision of the League of Nations and my stance was to create Israel. At the beginning of the debate, Kenta Okaneku, the Moderator of the debate, proposed we do an obligatory speakers list, meaning that I was not able to get a firm grasp of how the committee ran because I have only participated in a model UN mock conference during the fall of my freshman year. It was determined that each speaker would be given one minute to talk about their delegations opinion on the subject matter. I went up in front of the committee and gave a five second speech about my delegation’s opinion before giving up the rest of my time. After everyone went, we entered a moderated caucus to discuss the creation of Israel. Since I didn’t have much research on the opinion of the United Kingdom in 1948, I had to only use the knowledge I learned from past history classes. As the debate went on, I became more and more confident and raised my placard to speak more. I became allies with a few countries, but the opposition still had a majority. The debate is still continuing and the potential resolutions could go either way right now.


Ben G.

Our big welcome

After a long night of travels, we all made it to the Opening Ceremony at last. Although we did not get much sleep, the adrenaline kicked in and we were feeling the nerves mixed with excitement. Not knowing what to expect, we all filed into the seats of the ceremony eager to see what awaited us. The beautiful campus of Carol Baur surrounded us as we sat in the warm sun gazing at the breathtaking view of the city. As the ceremony began, we were delighted by the melodious tunes from the Mexican Military. We felt extremely welcomed by many important Mexican officials. Felipe Queipo, a United Nations Member, inspired us as he stated “the youth are not the future, they are the present.” After the ceremony, we were ready to begin in our committees discussing worldwide issues and brainstorming our own solutions together.

Mary O.



Today as part of the International Youth Dialogue Forum, the delegates and students of Carol Baur had the privilege of hearing Ms. Shondra speak on her experiences as a survivor of human trafficking and as an activist. Human trafficking is vital topic pertaining to both human rights and the international youth dialogue forum as Ms. Shondra stated. Before hearing her speak, I knew the basics of human trafficking and how it affects different parts of the world, but I never comprehended the broadness of the situation. At one point during her talk, Ms. Shondra mentioned a website that allows you to find out any individual has unknowingly contributed to trafficking through products that he/she purchases. There are countless reports of men, women, and children being enforced into working for traffickers.   Unlike epidemics such as gun violence or systemic poverty, human trafficking doesn’t have a sound or visible effects. Therefore it is often times brushed aside as something that “does not affect you.” However, as Ms. Shondra eloquently explained through describing her experiences through her own story  of time spent in the hands of various traffickers, her recovery, and her activism, it made me see that it does affect each one of us. Though comparatively silent, human trafficking occurs everywhere and everyone is at risk. Listening to Ms. Shondra speak was an honor and I truly admire her drive and determination to expose the utter loudness of human trafficking.

Kate K.

We made it!

After an almost full school day and 12 hours of travel we finally arrived to our destination.  Though very tired, the excitement was palpable!  As our students waited to be introduced to their host families, one student was heard repeating, “I’m so excited!”  Seeing the Carol Baur families welcome our students with open arms further showed the wonderful partnership we have developed over the years.

¡Listos! Ready!




We leave for México tomorrow! Everyone has been working hard finalizing their position papers!! To prepare for our trip, we have had a guest speaker come to discuss issues facing Central America, specifically, Guatemala, and we have also had a Skype call with a Syrian refugee staying in Jordan to learn about his personal views on the refugee crisis in Syria and the Middle East. We have researched about our countries, held a mock debate for Model UN groups, gone over what to pack, and previewed some of the cultural sites we will be visiting! Everyone is super excited for our trip and to meet our host families! See you in México!!

A Monumental Experience

After leaving host families at Collegiate on Saturday morning, the delegates traveled two hours north of Richmond to our nation’s capital.  We started with shopping trip and lunch at Potomac Mills, and then toured the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.  A dinner at Hard Rock Cafe allowed for good conversation before heading off to explore once the rain sopped.  Everyone ended the day exploring the Washington Monument and spending some time together at the hotel.

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