Politicians of the Future

by Gracie Alvarez

This year, Mount St. Mary Academy represented the nations of China, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Ecuador at the 52nd annual Model United Nations Conference at UCA.

model un

Model UN is a conference of high school students who represent different nations and collaborate to solve world-wide issues. At this conference, we debated the current issues plaguing the world and worked to find possible solutions for them. Some of these issues included how to combat terrorist/extremist groups, finding new sources of renewable energy, improving healthcare, and expanding access to global financial institutions.

Model UN is an incredible opportunity for all of the participants. It brings real-world issues to the attention of bright, motivated high school students who might otherwise be unaware. The issues discussed at Model UN are the issues that our class of high school students will be dealing with and trying to find resolutions for as adults. By starting to think about and striving for peace in our world now, as teenagers, we can prepare ourselves for the world ahead of us.

We are the politicians, congresswomen, activists, and leaders of the future, and Model UN is the perfect opportunity to start to experience this.

Mount St. Mary’s Model UN group did really well at this year’s conference. The delegation of Afghanistan was awarded an honorable mention for the outstanding delegation. Katie Strickland and Katie Bailey both won honorable mentions for outstanding delegates in the Special Political Committee. All of our students that participated did an incredible job and represented the strong, intelligent, and opinionated young women of Mount.


National Merit Semi-Finalist: Katie Strickland

By Gracie Alvarez

Katie Strickland, Class of 2018, was recently named a National Merit Semi-Finalist due to her performance on the PSAT last fall. She is one of only 136 semi-finalists in the entire state of Arkansas. She shared her feelings about the achievement with us, and the surprise she had upon finding out she had qualified: 

“When I first heard that I was a National Merit Semi-Finalist, my heart did a mini flip. I couldn’t stop thinking about how thankful I was for this opportunity!”

The classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 took the PSAT this past Wednesday, October 11th. The juniors that tested will find out next fall if they qualified to be a National Merit semi-finalist, while the freshmen and sophomores will have another chance to take the test.

When asked “What was the first thing that went through your mind when you heard the news?”, Katie told us that “Sister Joan actually told me in a meeting the day before they announced it to the school…we had been discussing the status of my college applications whenever she revealed to me that I was selected as a Semi-Finalist. When Sister Joan made the intercom announcement, I was sitting in my AP Research class praying that I had charged my computer the night before!”  

The qualification as a semi-finalist is a huge achievement; however, Katie still has to go through a rigorous process before she receives scholarships for the title. She must fill out an application, complete an essay, get a recommendation from Mount, and show evidence of taking the SAT recently. She is motivated to move forward, and told us that she

“[has] only excitement (and slight nervousness) for the adventures and challenges ahead! I will be ever-grateful for the opportunities which being a National Merit Semi-Finalist may open up, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the Class of 2018.”