Before attending the MMSY program I was attending a program at Brown University called the Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL). It was a two week program in Narragansett Bay at Brown’s estate on the water. For the entire two weeks, I and the 29 other students slept in 8-person wood-based tents, with no electricity. We studied and had a community space in the lodge, the only building with electricity. By the end of the two weeks we each had to think of our own “action-plan” with something that we could do to change an environmental problem in our community. My plan was start an Environmental Justice club to raise enough money to buy everyone a reusable metal water bottle and to work on recycling in our school (as a start!)
Before attending MMSY program, I was having a calm, relatively boring summer, playing Video games, watching TV and occasionally going out with friends and family, nothing special or extraordinary. I didn’t go to Egypt like I do every summer, so this had been a summer relatively void of any real excitement.
After entering the program, within a few days, my entire state of mind changed. I learned to be a lot more sensitive and tolerant, and expressions that I would normally use suddenly became taboo for me. In addition to this, the many wonderful places that we visited, like the Tolerance Museum, taught me about problems away from home that I neglected to think about enough, and I had actually started to think about making a difference in my own small way. My religious tolerance was also greatly increased.
Prior to entering MMSY for the summer, I planned on just volunteering at my parents’ workplaces for the summer, and completing my summer assignments for school in my spare time. Volunteering at my mom’s workplace was somewhat productive, as I was able to get homework done during lunch breaks and learned about how the medical services at the UN worked.
When I first came to this program, I expected to learn much about the UN that I didn’t know, and simply verify/confirm what I already knew. However, MMSY program went above and beyond my expectations; I not only learned, but I also connected, and I not only took in information, but I also reacted to it and began to apply it to my life almost immediately.
I am a student of Bronx Science High School and I am going to 11th grade this fall. During this summer, before the program, I was going to Yale twice a week, from Queens, using Metro north to meet with my mentor to do research on exoplanets. I had to return to Yale after the program ended as well.
I learned many new things from MMSY program and I am thankful that I had this opportunity. I did not know much about the UN before the program such as who was in charge or how it operated. I had never been in the UN before I came to this program. I learned how the general assembly worked. I also learned there was a separate security council and only select members from the general assembly were allowed to be part of it. I found out how the UN helps nations such as Rwanda, DR of Congo, Haiti, and other nations. I learned about the new methods they are using to stop child hunger and mortality, for example they sell nutrient enriched peanut butter to the poor at an extremely affordable cost.