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Students at the Governor's School Model UN Conference Raise $10,000 for HOPE

July 25, 2017
Model UN Conference student donation

From one hospital ship to the development of an organization that over the course of six decades has stationed thousands of people around the world – all working to improve global health. HOPE’s model of enabling health care workers to have the greatest positive impact on the health of the people they serve for long-term impact was the inspiration for a group of high school students in Virginia to raise $10,000 for Project HOPE.

The Governor’s School Model UN Conference, led by eleven students, with the guidance and support of faculty sponsor Max Smith, moved beyond simply discussing important global issues to becoming a catalyst for change.

Ketty Bai was a senior at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va., when she served as the Director of Charitable Giving at the Model UN Conference. “Part of my job was to propose potential charitable organizations,” said Bai. “As a team, we decided on Project HOPE. The charity addresses a lot of the issues frequently discussed in Model UN, so we felt our participants would really connect with its mission.”

Bai thought Project HOPE’s story would inspire students to take action. More than 600 students participated in some way, in a campaign that began in September 2016 and culminated at the March 2017 conference. 

“We organized some of the traditional school fundraisers, such as bake sales and milkshake sales,” said Bai. “We also held a benefit concert, with classmates donating their time and talent to perform. This was all done before the conference. During the conference, the fundraising staff and I went around selling merchandise, with all proceeds going to Project HOPE. We also set up many donation boxes and organized a committee competition to see which committee could raise the most money.”

We hope that we have brought more awareness

about global health in our community,

and what we, the younger generation, can do to help.

Franklin Guerrero, Project HOPE’s Vice President of Development and Communications, spoke at the conference, sharing HOPE’s story and mission. “Our students left the auditorium inspired,” said Bai, “and I had some really great feedback from both students and teachers about the speech.

“Ultimately, we hope that everyone involved in this endeavor, whether they participated at GSMUN, staffed it, or just bought a brownie during one of our bake sales, knows that there are charities like Project HOPE out there combatting the issues we hear about every day on the news. We hope that we have brought more awareness about global health in our community, and what we, the younger generation, can do to help. Our slogan encompasses the one idea we tried to convey: ‘Our world, our future.'"

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Model UN Conference student donation

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