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St. Olaf Model UN team puts local focus on global issues

By Mara Kumagai Fink '11
February 10, 2011

Members of the St. Olaf Model UN team, including Signe Knutson '11, enjoy the chance to talk about global issues with local Northfield students.

Members of the St. Olaf Model United Nations team are taking their passions for global issues and putting them to good use on a local level. The team is about to begin its second year of helping high school students on the Northfield Area YMCA’s Model United Nations team.

The college students serve as role models and attend weekly meetings to help the high school students prepare for their annual spring conference. The partnership started after the St. Olaf team gained recognition by winning awards at the National Model United Nations Conference in 2009. John Fowler, leader of the YMCA team, saw a story about them and contacted the team to see if they would help with the local high school students.

The partnership has benefited both sides: while the high school students get the chance to learn from college students who have been successful in Model United Nations, the St. Olaf team gets to spread the word about global issues. St. Olaf Model United Nations Co-President Signe Knutson ’11 says that working with these students has been a way for the team to share their passion for international issues with high school students who have the same interests. “We pass on what we learned at the conference to the kids and it’s awesome to have an outlet to share the skills with them and give back to the community,” she says.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or