CAS 2019 – Creativity, Activity, Service

By CAS Coordinators Christine McDowell (West), Abby Rhoads (West), Emily Williams (East), and Bob Wojtowicz (East)

The Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) program is part of the “core” of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and designed to encourage 11th and 12th graders to learn from experiences outside of the classroom. This experiential learning component contributes to making an IB education a holistic learning experience with real-world outcomes. The designers of the IB program felt it was important that students become well-rounded and demonstrate engagement with issues of local and global significance. As a result, our students complete the CAS program having taken risks through a range of extracurricular experiences and having made real differences in and around Cape Cod and abroad. Many students note in their CAS reflections that they learned to work well with others, take initiative, and lead.

What does it take to succeed in CAS?  Over the course of two years, the following CAS completion requirements must be met:

  1. Show evidence of meeting all 7 CAS Learning Outcomes through a balance of Creativity, Activity, and Service experiences.
  2. Maintain regular involvement in CAS experiences, ideally on a weekly basis.
  3. Reflect regularly on personal growth (in written or oral reflections).
  4. Participate in at least one “CAS Project.” Students undertake a CAS project of at least one month’s duration that challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making.

In addition to two years of participating in their own personally-designed CAS programs, seniors at both campuses participate in Senior Service Day during Senior Week. Some of the service sites this year included: Cotuit Center for the Arts, Camp Greenough, Barnstable Land Trust, Hyannis West Elementary, West Barnstable YMCA, Camp Linden, Cape Cod Child Development, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, First Baptist Church, Station Ave Elementary, Cape Regency Nursing Home, Hyannis Public Library, and the JFK Museum.

The CAS coordinators and Sturgis students are always seeking to connect with organizations in and around Cape Cod, so if you know of any opportunities please contact Emily Williams (CAS Coordinator at East) at ewilliams@sturgischarterschool.org or Christine McDowell (CAS Coordinator at West) at cmcdowell@sturgischarterschool.orgWe asked students if we could share some of their reflections on their most meaningful CAS experiences. We hope you enjoy reading them below!

West Campus

Julia Berestecky Makes Signs for Racial Justice March

Julia Berestecky, Class of 2019, March for Racial Justice in Falmouth, MA – West

October 17, 2018

I like to consider myself politically active and an advocate, so I was very happy to participate in this event. The two learning objective I set were: to identify own strengths and develop areas for growth, and to demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. I accomplished the second objective a bit more than the first one. I showed engagement because racism is a global problem that many areas and people are struggling with. It is a shame that it is still happening today. We talked about the inequalities people of color face and how white privilege does exist. We also talked about the impact of this and showed support for those who have been affected and hurt from discrimination. I developed an area for growth by realizing that I should continue to be involved with important issues. Also, one strength I recognized was my compassion and being able to show support for people. This is more of a personal growth instead of a physical growth but it is still a strength. Overall, I believe my presence at this event showed my my support for the people who hosted the event and racial justice, and my stand against discrimination.

Nathan Balk King, Class of 2019, Model UN: Indigenous – West

February 27, 2019

I’ve gotten in contact with a recent Cornell graduate, Nathan Goldberg, to help me with my MUN:I project. He wants to get involved in Native American human rights work, and has done the MUN program before. We talked on the phone and he gave me advice on how to fundraise, and he gave me a list of things he thinks I should do:

  1. Fix the website so there’s less to read/look at
  2. Write a fundraising letter for grants and friends/family
  3. Research organizations to send that fundraising letter to
  4. Create a schedule for NHSMUN Preparation

Going forward, he’ll provide further advice and support for MUN delegates.  Here’s a letter I wrote for my project, to ask people to donate:

Hello,

My name is Nathan Balk King, Lise King’s son. She suggested that I reach out to you tell you about my Model United Nations: Indigenous project, and ask that you consider donating. (via the DONATE NOW button @  www.MUNIndigenous.com)

Here is an article in this week’s Provincetown Banner about my project: https://provincetown.wickedlocal.com/news/20190214/nathan-balk-king-organizes-native-american-youth-for-model-un

All funds are received and managed by our fiscal sponsor, the Provincetown Community Compact (thecompact.org) and are tax deductible.

In March of 2018, I attended the National High School Model United Nations conference in New York City, and noted that among the thousands of international students, there were no other Native American faces in the crowd. In response to this inequity, I started MUN:Indigenous. It’s purpose is to facilitate Native youth training in international diplomacy and human rights though participation at the NHSMUN Conference and the creation of Native American MUN clubs at high schools across the country.

We have a delegation of ten (10) Native American students currently preparing to attend the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) Conference March 6-9 in New York City. We are honored to represent our communities and our tribes at this largest Model United Nations gathering in the world, with over 5000 students attending from 74 countries.

For each student, the costs are approximately $1000, including registration, travel, and hotel, and we are working together to raise the funds necessary to attend.

The International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), has endorsed MUN: Indigenous, and has announced that they will be including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at NHSMUN for the first time ever in their 45-year history. We will not only be learning about human rights diplomacy, but also representing indigenous peoples to the global community. We will be the first-ever group to represent the voices of Indian Country at NHSMUN.

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated, thank you so much for your support.

Nathan Balk King, Founder and Director, MUN: Indigenous

Station Ave Elementary Holiday Fair

Joseph Desroches, Class of 2020, Volunteering at Station Ave Elementary School Holiday Fair – West

December 16, 2018

Going into today, I have never wrapped a gift nor guided a kid around. I obviously had to learn these skills, as this was my “job” today, per se. Learning these skills is one thing, but being able to instantly apply them is another. I’m not gonna lie, for about the first hour I was overwhelmed. But by the second, It almost felt natural in a sense. If I ever need to wrap a gift again, it’ll be easy (given that I remember).  Another integral part of the experience was working together with others. Not one person could do all of wrapping, guiding, and organizing, so we all had to distribute the tasks accordingly. I had to work with people I haven’t seen in years, people, peers, I haven’t seen since my years in the district. Getting to catch up with them, and then working with them, was both cool and somewhat challenging. These people and the kids, working with both of them, was a valuable experience, most definitely, and I’m grateful I could learn and help my prior school. Giving back to my elementary school was one of the biggest factors in the entire experience.

Amelia Ducey, Class of 2020, Go Green Garden Club – West

October 26, 2018

Hydroponic Setup

In this club, our first endeavor was constructing a hydroponic set up. This was most definitely a challenge that developed my gardening skills, specifically my understanding of what nutrients a plant needs and how those requirements vary from species to species.The most difficult portion of this venture was getting the measurements on the nutrient mixtures right. This is vital to the survival of the system because in a hydroponic set up there is no soil whatsoever, the plants get everything the need to grow directly from the water. I was excited I had the opportunity to learn more about this system for growing plants, and I discovered that I am quick to pick up on the chemistry behind botany. However, i also learned that one area of growth for me is patience- I have a tendency to not want to wait for germination. Overall, this was a great start to gardening club and I’m really looking forward to working with this group of students in this setting.

Microgreen and pea shoot salad

Our second project was a little more orthodox and easy to understand- we planted cabbage and broccoli and peas to harvest as microgreens. Microgreens are the sprout of a vegetable that are very nutritious and easy to grow. My friends Gabby, Summer and I started by mixing a seedling potting mix with perlite as an absorbency agent. Next we added water to the potting mix so that it would have enough moisture for the seeds to germinate. Then, we pushed the seeds about a quarter of an inch under the surface of the soil we had distributed in these black plastic pods. Finally, we covered the entire thing in plastic wrap so that the water in the soil would not evaporate and leave the seedlings without enough water. My friends and I demonstrated good collaboration because we were able to communicate effectively and create a plan so that we would be able to complete the above steps during one lunch period. I would not have been able to do so without their help, and this experience made me recognize the value of working with others as compared to working independently. Planting these seeds was a challenge for me personally because I hadn’t studied the conditions required by young plants since early middle school. This challenge made me develop new skills; now I know what ratio of water:soil and what ratio of soil:perlite I need for optimal growing conditions.

Harvested Japanese knotwood to cook with

April 24, 2019

During our Garden Club meeting during lunch yesterday (4/23), Mr. Teck told us that a really common invasive plant called Japanese knotweed is actually edible. Having found this out, we decided to pick some from the side of the road. One thing I did not foresee in this was that ants would like the shoots too. This fact helped me identify that one weakness of mine is dealing with insects. I realize that this is an obstacle I am going to have to overcome, especially because I enjoy gardening and bugs are a pretty big part of that. Moving forward, I am going to make myself more comfortable with insects by having as much exposure to them as possible; it’s just something I need to get used to. However, this experience made me realize that one strength of mine is my ability to quickly learn new information, especially when it is something in an area that interests me. For example, yesterday I learned that Japanese knotweed is also colloquially referred to as monkey fungus, and that skunk cabbage gets its name because when you break a leaf, it smells like skunk. I also demonstrated commitment to and perseverance in this CAS experience because even though there were ants everywhere, I continued to pick the shoots. This is mainly because I heard it tastes like rhubarb and I’m excited to try to cook with it.

Sophie Smith, Class of 2019, Jazz Band – West

Sophie Smith

Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

Throughout my last two years in jazz band, I worked on the skills I learned in my first two years, mainly projecting my sound and learning how to improv solo confidently. I was able to quickly find out that an area of growth I needed to work on was soloing confidently. However, I also found areas that I was strong in, like projecting my sound. Overall, if I had not built upon the skills I learned my freshman and sophomore year, I would not have become the musician I am today.

Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

One of the biggest challenges I faced was learning how to improv solo and learning how to do it confidently. Last year, it was really hard for me to confidently solo so I mostly left it to the senior flutist to be the flute soloist. However, since she graduated I had to step up and solo this year. Once I practiced soloing more and more during rehearsals, I became more and more confident in my abilities to improv. I soloed once for the winter concert and twice for the spring concert (Arts Fest). I was even sad that I couldn’t do a third solo for Arts Fest this year. I think the skill I ended up developing is confidence in myself more than anything else.

Sophie Smith jazz band

Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

Jazz band was the CAS experience I was most dedicated to throughout my time in CAS. During the past two years, I only missed one band rehearsal and that was because I had mock exams that day. I’m really proud to have been able to get up early in the morning every week to practice music with fellow musicians because the memories I made in jazz band will be memories that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

Overall, I was able to find a group of people that I felt comfortable enough to open myself up with and that group of people will remain in my heart for a long time to come. Jazz band was most certainly an experience that I chose to undertake that caused me anxiety my freshman year but it ended up being the best choice I’ve ever made in terms of challenging myself.

Satria Knight, Class of 2019, Learning Sign Language – West

In the youtube video, I explain a biology learning objective completely in sign language as a part of my biology learning objective. Doing a learning objective in a foreign language adds a few bonus points to my grade so I decided to take a big challenge and do one in sign language. I started becoming interested in sign language only a few weeks ago so I was very impressed with my ability to just absorb new signs and learn all the vocabulary I needed to make the video. Even better, my understanding of blood flow from the heart through the arteries to body tissues is solid because of the time I spent preparing for this video.

Anya Ghai, Class of 2020, Marker Recycling – West

Anya’s creative marker collection box

June 03, 2019

After I saw a post on twitter of a teacher collecting used markers, I was inspired to do the same at Sturgis. I have seen teachers throw away dozens of markers, so I knew I could change that. So I decorated a plain cardboard box to encourage teachers to recycle their markers instead of tossing them out. Once at least 100 markers are collected, Crayola sends a free shipping label so that you can send the package to their plant so the plastic can be recycled into an energy source. My goal is to collect at least 100 markers by the end of the year, checking on the box weekly until we meet the goal.

88 markers toward Anya’s 100 marker goal!

March 28, 2019

Since February, the box has been progressively getting more full. I greatly appreciate contributions from faculty and students. Some teachers have been handing me markers in the hallway, which makes me feel more confident in the project. Seeing the box slowly fill up is nice, but when someone remembers to save the marker and then seeks me out for it to be recycled, it gives me hope and excitement to be a part of something bigger. One thing I have learned is that I have to speak up to encourage people to recycle. For example, when I noticed Teacher John throwing away his expo markers, I told him after class that he can instead just hand them off to me. Now he gives all his used markers to me or my friends. In the future, if I see someone throwing away markers, I will tell them that there is a better way to get rid of them. I will learn to use my voice for the greater good.

East Campus

Will Furtado, Class of 2019, Mathletes – East

Sturgis East Mathletes, Will Furtado 3rd from Left

The Sturgis Mathletes finished their season strong with a fourth place finish at our last mathematics meet at Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School last Wednesday. Considering this was only our second meet in the history of Sturgis, I am immensely proud that our team could perform so well. Because our team is so young, we of course were going into the meet with many challenges and adversity; many of our members had not even been to a single meet before. For many teams, this inexperience would lead to instability and distrust within the team. However, our team (Go Storm!) actually used this to our advantage and faced this challenge with all the confidence in the world.

We did not get the start we had been hoping for. After receiving the results from the 1st round of the competition – a measly one point for all three competitors – we knew that we needed to step it up in the following rounds. Slowly but surely, the Sturgis Mathletes built enough steam to finally surpass other schools such as Barnstable and Bourne in the standings. By the end of it, we were high on the leaderboards.

Coming into round five, I knew we needed a miracle to continue in this upward trend. I cranked my brain up to eleven, and set forth on this challenging, yet exciting, mathematical journey. I did not back down from the challenge, but rather I was able to score a perfect round in the ‘Advanced Topics’ category, something that no one had done yet that year.

Jeanne Henchy, Field Hockey Captain, 3rd from left

Jeanne Henchy, Class of 2019, Field Hockey – East

As Captain, I have to start thinking about when to start Captain’s practices. We want to have enough prep even before pre season, but with rides and work it is difficult to get the majority of the team to show up to these practices. Also, we have to start thinking about what kind of apparel we want for next year since the earlier we figure it out the better, and it is a lot of work to set it all up and try to make everyone happy so it’s important to brainstorm early on. I also want to encourage the girls to work out and practice a little on their own this summer. We usually try to get the list of new players coming in asap so we can have an estimate on the number of players and we can be in communication with them. Lastly, we have also introduced and suggested field hockey camps and programs the girls could do which would greatly increase their skill.

 

Hannah O’Brien, Class of 2019, Health & Science Career Exploration Club – East

Hannah O’Brien in back row third from left

Health and Science Club visited Spaulding Rehabilitation center in Sandwich on January 26th. The club was given a tour of the entire facility by Matt Kielty, an occupational therapist and orientation coordinator. We learned about all the possible jobs at Spaulding Rehabilitation, many of which I had never heard of. One particular thing I found interesting was the model apartment, which allows patients to practice everyday activities before returning home. This experience has allowed me to learn about possible careers in the medical field that I hadn’t considered before. The club enjoyed the tour so much that we plan on volunteering at Spaulding soon. This activity took initiating and planning because I had to communicate the group’s intentions for the tour and then plan a date for the tour. I enjoyed this experience because it gave me insight on what career I may want to have in the future.

 

Lily and friends in Puerto Rico assembling care packages

Lily Allen, Class of 2019, Dancers Making Waves (hurricane relief effort) – East

After lots of planning and coordination with my mom, my dance teacher, my fellow dancers, and the two main organizations in Puerto Rico, I was finally able to make the trip with a small group of dancers! We met up with a wonderful woman and the coordinator of one charity organization, Mariela Cruz Miranda, in the town of Isabela. She introduced us to many people in need who were still suffering even after 7 months since Hurricane Maria. We used some of our money to purchase bedding and household supplies for people who were in the process of reconstructing their houses. We gave a home depot gift certificate of $400 to an old man and his daughter who needed to completely rebuild their house.

We also bought some medical and sanitary products for elderly people and those with disabilities. The next day, we used the rest of our fundraised spending money to put together small care packages for people who lived inland. We included jugs of water, rice, canned beans and milk, coffee, and a cornmeal breakfast cereal. We also visited a local bakery to buy fresh bread for each care package. Plus, we added a small toiletry pouch with some essentials.

Our group drove into the mountainous inland area of the island to give people these care packages. We also distributed the handwritten notes on cut out waves to everyone we met. It was amazing to see the reactions on people’s faces when we knocked on their doors. The care packages may have been small, but the idea that people were still caring for them made all the difference in the world. It brought me to tears bringing help to some elderly people who were so grateful. I will never forget this trip and I hope to spread awareness of the problems caused by the hurricane that Puerto Ricans still face to this day. In fact, there was an island-wide power outage during our stay.

Phoebe Cohen, Class of 2020, Dance Competition – East

Phoebe and her dance team

We recently went to a competition called Spirit of Dance. We entered all of our competitive pieces, but one of the dances we really focused on was a jazz piece called I Feel Like A Woman. It was a very hard dance, mainly because it was so fast and formation oriented. This meant that we had to work together every time we ran the dance to make sure we got in the right spots because if someone couldn’t get to the right spot, the formation would be off. My team takes from a variety of age groups, from age 8 up to 18, so this meant collaborating and going over these formations with a wide spread of dancers with different abilities (Learning Outcome 4). This competition was the last competition with our senior dancers, Madison and Shaela. I’ve known these two since I got onto the team, so it was a very emotional time watching them perform. I have always looked up to them. Watching Shaela at this competition, I see how confident she is on stage in her movements, and I want to strive for that kind of power when I dance. As I watched Madison, I want to strive for her determination. She has grown so much over the years, and I loved seeing her in her final performance with us, in her element and being the best dancer she can. She has never given up and I love that about her (Learning Outcome 1).

We won a lot of awards ranging from Golds to Platinums, but the one I am most proud of us for winning is the Spirit of Dance Award for Spirit, which is the award given to the team that the stage managers backstage see as the most kind backstage to others and that throughout the competition have shown the most teamwork and sportsmanship. The year has been peppered with drama and upheaval in our team dynamic. We welcomed on two new younger kids to the team. Our seniors are leaving. People have been saying things they shouldn’t be. This award tells me that we worked through that. The challenge of working as a team has been tough this year, but I am glad that we have been able to accomplish more than what we thought we could. (Learning Outcome 2). I hope that next year, my senior year, will be even better than this competition.

Keshet Baumflek, Class of 2020, Stage Manager of “Say Yes” – East

On Saturday, we had rehearsal from 9-2 and to help out some parents, I agreed to drive 3 friends to rehearsal. I was picking them all up at 8:10 to give us time to stop if we needed. I got up at 7, to give myself time to get dressed, do my make up, get breakfast, and pack a lunch. Then I picked my friends up at Olivia’s house and we started for Hyannis. Along the way, we stopped at Dunkin at Olivia’s request and I got a coffee which was exactly what I needed. When we got there we parked in eh Pearl Street parking lot upon Ms. Young’s request as there is a huge pit in front of the Annex back entrance due to construction in the parking lot.

When we got to the Annex doors, we had to wait like 10 seconds before Ms. Young showed up with the key to let us in. She asked me to stand at the door and to let people in so I went to the theatre room, put my stuff down, grabbed my laptop, and then went to stand at the door. While I was letting people, I started taking attendance for cast and tech of those I remember letting in and who’d I’d seen. I also had started to create the rehearsal and tech report that would later be filled out by myself and Lauren, head of tech, respectively later. Eventually, Rowan, one of the assistant directors, came to take over the door so I could take attendance.

We gathered to start around 9:10 maybe and had a meeting until 9:30 where we went introduced everyone and went over the day’s schedule. Ms. Young said to make sure you read her emails and the post on classroom which are often by me which was sorta funny. Friday night,  had been unsure about what we are doing or lunch so I texted Olivia, an assistant director, and she said it was in the email, so I looked and found it in the schedule. Then I asked her if we should post something so people would know. She agreed and posted an announcement about lunch, but she posted the wrong information, so I had to quickly delete her post and post my own post about the correct schedule and lunch plans. Ms. Young actually texted me to thank me for that which made me feel good, I was glad to know what I was doing was helpful. During the meeting, at around 9:30, I got a text from the assistant stage manager (SM) that he was there so I went to let him in. He had been late because his car wouldn’t start but eventually, he managed to start it.

‘Say Yes’ stage managers

Anyways, after the meeting, the tech crew went downstairs and started building the set, while upstairs we started ensemble building the cast which involved viewpoints. I’ve heard a lot about it from my friend who does HL theatre, but I don’t really understand them, as I’ve never acted before. I tried to follow them, but I was very confused and I don’t think I can describe it really beyond I never felt like I had the soft focus we were aiming for. After that, we started creating scene 0. from the very beginning of rehearsals, Ms. Young has known she wants a scene 0 to explain why Marty is always so down in life which created, blocked, and rehearsed yesterday. We had a scene at home, a scene with Miriam, a scene with the police, a scene at work, and a scene at Starbucks. At each scene something happens, that makes Marty sadder and sadder which will accumulate into the set crew bringing out Marty’s Could of Doom. Between each scene, we will play the beginning of “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter to set the tone for Marty’s life. We make sure each little scene would have an ending line which would be the cue for the next section of music.

After we finished scene 0, we reviewed scene 6, Comic-Con, with the ensemble and put all the pieces together. We’d also made some script changes to express the relationship between Joe and Harriet more clearly. This carried us until 12 when our lunch break started. I went to lunch with some friends at The Little Sandwich Shop where I ate my own lunch and bought a couple of drinks. I headed back a little earlier than everyone else, but no one came to let me in so I got back with everybody else. Ms. Young asked me to take attendance again just to make sure we didn’t lose anyone and so I went downstairs to take tech attendance and then upstairs to take attendance of cast. Luckily, everyone was there, except for Sam, the assistant SM, who had to leave at 12:30 for work at 1. However, he hadn’t let us know of this until about 10, which s irritating as he should’ve told us at the very least before yesterday. I know he and Ms. Young, but I don’t know about that as I did not feel it was my place to be in the conversation. It was especially irritating considering he’d already arrive late.

‘Say Yes’ cast and crew

After lunch, we worked on scene 2 and added ensemble into the scene to make it seem more like an office with actual employees besides those who have lines. After, we rehearsed scene 3 where Marty and Miriam break up and included John into the scene. This scene is fantastic! Sita, who plays Miriam, is great to watch and Noah, who plays Marty, really built off of her performance. It had me laughing so much.  Then we rehearsed the last few scenes with the introduction to the gang, robbery, and the few final scenes with Pete and Liz. These scenes were especially important as we had to add Joey Cazelli. We finally decided that Connor, who plays John, would also play Joey Cazelli so we had to add him to the blocking. Everything ran smoothly and we ended with a meeting to go over everything we’d done that day.

The managed to finish the frame for the set which was good!! I also got some funny pictures of them which will go on the STAGE Instagram. Overall, it was a good rehearsal and we accomplished a lot.

Noah Whelpley, Class of 2020, Model United Nations – East

Our Model United Nations club went to the NHSMUN over a few days at the beginning of March, and it was honestly an incredible experience. We came into it knowing little of what to expect, but it was greater than we could have ever imagined. We arrived at the conference and the first thing I noticed was how huge it was; thousands of kids spanning a huge auditorium, all dressed sharply and ready to represent their nations in the NHSMUN. We went to committee work soon after our arrival, and got to know everyone else in our committee, DISEC. Ours was a big one, so we got to know quite a few people.

Noah Whelpley at NHSMUN

We became good friends with the representatives of Pakistan, Japan, Morocco, and many other countries. During committee, we had long, arduous hours of moderated and unmoderated caucuses and debates about various solutions and complications of the topic we decided to discuss, terrorism in Southeast Asia. The atmosphere of the room was intense and competitive, but fun. We split up into blocs with like-minded nations and drafted some working papers, drafts for UN resolutions. Ours was “Water Bloc” as our original focus was maritime security, and was formed in response to complaints that not everyone could get a word in between the shouts of louder delegations, so we were founded with the principles of collaboration and cooperation as core beliefs. We then, after much more debate, presented them to the committee, and criticism and congratulations were put forth. We took all into consideration and created our resolution after merging with another bloc, the “123 Bloc”, to form the fused bloc “H2O Bloc”. These resolutions required amendments though, and so some were drafted. Of particular note here is the amendment proposed by me and my partner urging Southeast Asian nations to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty to crack down on the black and grey-market arms trade in the region. When we went to vote on amendments and resolutions, ours was passed along with many others, and in the end, both resolutions created by the committee passed.

This experience really drove home for me the importance of dedication to a cause and of collaboration and compromise with other parties when coming up with solutions to accommodate everyone. It also greatly educated me not only on the international issues that my committee discussed but also those of other committees whose delegates I spoke to during the conference. Coming in, I was certain that I wouldn’t speak and would hardly participate, as this was my first year at this huge conference, but I overcame that fear and ended up participating a lot, more than most other countries there, and really pushing for what Mexico believes in for our topic. Overall I grew more confident in my public speaking skills, worked really hard to cooperate with many others and produce an amazing product, and engaged with important issues in Southeast Asia, taking into account the morality and practicality of various solutions that were proposed.

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