EHS Wins International Gold at NHSMUN


Mr. Patrick Travis

The Model UN team poses for a post-conference photo with their delegation award. Top row (from left): Ms. Maithreyi Ravula, Aditya Rao ’26, Sushanth Balaraman ’24, Soumita Banerjee ’25, Pragya Singh ’23, Vinay Menon ‘23, Avinash Aravind ’23, Krish Shah ’24, Mr. Patrick Travis; Bottom row (from left): Ishaan Shetty ’24, Ishani Bakshi ’26, Suhani Chokshi ’24, Madhav Mandala ’24.

The Award of Distinction for Debate and Simulation. This is among the top honors a student delegation can be awarded at NHSMUN. (Mr. Patrick Travis)

Edison High School’s Model United Nations (MUN) team has won an Award of Distinction at the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN), one of the most prestigious conferences in the world. The Award of Distinction is presented to some of the best-performing schools at the conference for its respective category.

From March 10 to 13, 2023, twelve Eagles attended NHSMUN in New York City. Following EHSMUN’s successful 2022 year, both new and former delegates alike traveled into the city for the four-day conference, debating and drafting resolutions for issues such as housing insecurity, the rights of indigenous women in the Amazon, and Sri Lankan debt.

In front of an audience of thousands of students and teachers from across the globe, the delegation was formally presented on March 13 with the Award of Distinction for Debate and Simulation .

“Hearing EHS announced as the final winner of the award was amazing!” said club advisor and English teacher Mr. Patrick Travis. “The best part was seeing the reactions from [all the delegates] when our school was called.”

[We have to] stay strong. We have come a long way, and this is just the beginning—we have so much ahead of us

— Pragya Singh ‘23

Representing the Republic of Costa Rica, three pairs of delegates (Pragya Singh ‘23 and Sushanth Balaraman ‘24; Ishaan Shetty ‘24 and Aditya Rao ‘26; and Mithil Mishra ‘25 and Ishani Bakshi ‘26) won the Award of Excellence in their respective committees for their performance. While other EHS delegates did not receive formal awards of recognition, the delegation’s Award of Distinction for Debate and Simulation is indicative of the entire group’s success.

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  • Madhav Mandala ’24 presenting his resolution paper in his committee session.

  • Mithil Mishra ’25 (center) and Ishani Bakshi ’26 in committee session.

  • Vinay Menon ‘23 and Avinash Aravind ’23 in committee session.

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As part of the conference experience, delegates learned and developed new ideas to solve pressing real-world issues while maintaining diplomatic conduct.

“I definitely think four days such as NHSMUN teach a lot about stamina and endurance,” said delegate Bakshi. “It taught me to always stay alert and think quickly on my feet.”

For delegate Krish Shah ‘24, the experience was a chance to present his skills and ideas to a group of many like-minded people, many coming from similar backgrounds to his own.

“I’ve grown a lot through NHSMUN, especially because of the confidence I gained through speaking in front of nearly 100 people,” said Shah. “Putting yourself and your ideas out there is not easy, but NHSMUN facilitated a supportive environment, and through it, I know that I am a stronger speaker and debater.”

The trip also offered delegates the opportunity to explore New York City during periods of downtime. As a group, the delegation explored iconic attractions like Central Park and experienced the city’s diverse cuisine.

The United Nations General Assembly. The EHSMUN team was able to visit the UN along with other student participants at NHSMUN in March. (SOUMITA BANERJEE ’25)

“My favorite part has to be just hanging out in hotel rooms and on the streets of New York,” said delegate Aditya Rao ‘26. “Committee was fun, but I’ve done so many conferences before, so it didn’t stand out as much to me as the experiences I had with my friends during those 4 days, especially with us having so much time outside the committee to go out and have fun.”

Delegate Avinash Aravind ‘23 agreed, describing how the trip allowed him to explore attractions that he had never visited before.

“My favorite part of NHSMUN was probably walking through Central Park on the first day,” said Aravind. “We walked through parts of the park I hadn’t been to before, and generally, it was nice to talk to my friends in a setting completely removed from school.”

Delegates were also given the opportunity to visit the United Nations building and sit where country representatives sit for meetings of the General Assembly, where they heard a keynote speech from Iraqi-American author and refugee activist Ahmed M. Badr.

“It was also really cool that we got to go to the UN and sit in the General Assembly room,” said Travis. “That and the speaker at the UN were probably the highlights of the trip for me.”

The EHS Model UN team standing on the stage of the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. From left: Pragya Singh ’23, Ishani Bakshi ’26, Suhani Chokshi ’24, Soumita Banerjee ’25, Ishaan Shetty ‘24, Avinash Aravind ’23, Madhav Mandala ’24, Vinay Menon ‘23, Krish Shah ’24, Mithil Mishra ’25, Aditya Rao ’26, Sushanth Balaraman ’24. (Mr. Patrick Travis)

As an international conference, there were delegates from 70 different countries and over 300 different schools from around the world.

“My favorite part of NHSMUN was getting the chance to meet so many new and different people from all parts of the world and learning about their experiences and cultures,” said delegate Suhani Chokshi ‘24. “On top of that, these individuals were able to bring their own experiences to the conference, allowing me to learn from them and thus hone my own skills as well.”

The people the delegates met and the friends they made during the conference exemplify a unique educational and social experience.

“I felt like I had the opportunity to learn so much! It was very interesting to see how different delegates conveyed their thoughts and the amount of effort each delegate put into this conference,” said Nekhil Budampati ‘23, a Swedish delegate representing Ethiopia. “My favorite part of the conference was definitely meeting the delegates from Edison High School.”

Hearing EHS announced as the final winner of the award was amazing! The best part was seeing the reactions from [all the delegates] when our school was called.

— Mr. Patrick Travis

The club’s achievement is a fitting end to a year initially clouded by uncertainty.

For Secretary General Pragya Singh ‘23, who joined the club in her freshman year and has been performing administrative duties since, the winning moment represents the culmination of four years’ worth of hard work and dedication.

“[We have to] stay strong. We have come a long way, and this is just the beginning—we have so much ahead of us,” said Singh.

“We are going to be a big name on the circuit very soon, and I can’t wait for when that happens.”

Readers can view NHSMUN photos and videos in the photo album compiled by Banerjee.