'Finding your voice': Chicago students learn to be leaders for the Model UN Conference
CHICAGO (CBS) -- A group of students from the south and west sides of Chicago is preparing to represent our city at the Model UN Conference.
Instead of world leaders meeting to solve the world's problems it's students who lead the discussions. They hope to bring their perspective to New York City, and explained to CBS 2's Sabrina Franza why they feel that's so important.
This may feel like a practice, a faux debate before the real things. The topic is is the pros and cons of social media. The team goes back and forth, and even takes questions from reporters.
At Kipp Academy, a school part of a larger charter system in Chicago across Austin, Englewood, and West Humboldt Park. They're hoping to go to the National Model UN Conference in New York City.
It's something this team has never been to in person.
"I want to show people that people of color they can succeed too," said seventh grader Ahking Garrett.
Once they're there, they'll each represent a different country on a certain issue, a simulated United Nations. More importantly, these students want to represent the South and West Side of Chicago.
"Being able to influence younger kids, and show them that it's ok to talk and understand the world, is pretty cool," said eighth grader Bri'asia Jenkins.
To talk about issues that effect them personally, like some people's perception of Chicago.
"It's overall a good city to be in. And you shouldn't be scared because of gun violence," said Jenkins.
And to be an advocate, based on their own experiences. Garrett lost his little sister before she was born.
"My mother was had a high risk pregnancy and she died when she was born. Two days before she was born," said Garrett.
To make moves to change the world. In this case, for women's health.
"I feel like we should be able to help them if they ask for help. Or if they say they need help, because you never know what can go on inside of a person if you just look at the outside."
Hoping to elevate the voices in this room onto a national stage.
"The first step of being a leader is finding your voice," said one Kipp Academy student and another student added "it means I could do anything I want to in the future."
The team has also organized a GoFundMe page to help fund their trip to New York City.
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