PLATTSBURGH — A local teen is one of 1,800 participants at WE Model United Nations Expo in Beijing, China, this week.
It all started after Shayne Donoghue, 17, received honorable mention recognition for his representation of King Muhammad VI of Morocco during the 60th Harvard Model U.N. in Cambridge, Mass., last January.
He was asked to apply to the 21-member 2013 All-American Model United Nations Team by College Apprentice, the organization that runs that it.
“It was an honor. I didn’t think I would be chosen,” Donoghue said.
Last week, he took part in the team’s two-day training conference at Harvard University; Saturday, it departed for Beijing.
There, his schedule includes a three-day tour of the city and surrounding area through the WExplore program. That includes visits to the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square.
The international conference starts Wednesday and concludes next Sunday.
Donoghue, who will be a senior at PCS this fall, was initially told he would be part of a team representing Japan.
So he did extensive research for that role.
That delegation was overbooked, so he was told about three weeks ago he would be part of a team representing Finland.
“I had to do the research all over for a new country,” he said.
Topics for his part of the conference include international migration and its implications on economic, political and social development and education.
Following the conference, Donoghue is to take part in a Xi’an extension program that includes a three-day tour of Shanghai.
KEEPING A JOURNAL
Donoghue has taken part in Model U.N. since ninth grade.
He said Peru Central social studies teacher Peter McCormick, adviser for Model U.N. there, “is amazing.
“I owe a lot of my success to him for pushing me.”
McCormick is assisted by social studies teacher Bruce Beauharnois.
“They train the Peru kids so well,” Donoghue said.
He has also received a lot of input from Lin Chen, a Peru math teacher who takes students to China under a program known as Mathematicians Without Borders.
Chen has provided helpful tips on where to go and what foods to eat, as well as some social protocols.
“I’m writing a journal for him about my travels and experiences,” Donoghue said.
The trip is costing him about $7,000, Donoghue said. He thanked his family and friends for their support.
“We’re all very proud of him,” his father, John, said.
Shayne was recognized with a proclamation from the Town of Plattsburgh at a recent Town Council meeting.
Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett read the document, which in part says the town encourages the community to recognize Donoghue for his achievement.
“We are pleased to acknowledge him for his accomplishment,” the supervisor said.
Model U.N. has been a great experience, Donoghue said; he has stayed in contact with some of the people he met at the Harvard event.
“I recommend this for everyone. It actually opens your eyes to what’s happening in the world.”
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org