Montessori Model UN is a division of Youth For a Better World, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, recognized as an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Our Mission is to Inspire and Empower Youth. We have two principal programs, Montessori Model UN (MMUN) and Youth Impact! Forum. We also provide Teacher and Parent programs so that they can understand how to support the intellectual and social growth of the youth in their classrooms and homes.
The MMUN program involves year-long classroom or after school study, participation in mid-year working sessions and social meetups with global peers, and then culminates in a multi-day global education simulation experience that enables students in upper elementary and middle schools to learn about the operations of the UN and its role as the world’s largest international peacekeeping and humanitarian organization. In addition, MMUN provides an opportunity for young people to: 1) learn about cultures, governments and peoples of nations throughout the world. 2) apply research, writing and communications skills, 3) develop critical thinking, problem solving and evaluative skills, 4) debate current global issues and world problems, 5) practice and use leadership skills in real life global situations, and 6) understand the need for peace and conflict resolution throughout the world.
MMUN began in 2006 with a vision by our Founder and only 200 students attending a conference in NYC. Since then with a base of hundreds of schools and thousands of participants, it has come to provide several culminating online and in-person conference events each year.
Our mission is to use the power of Model United Nations to inform, inspire, and motivate its young participants to act in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to change the world together.
We believe that if adults help young people understand the world we live in, and provide the structure for finding their voices, youths will be able to create a better future for everyone, making the world a better place.
UNITED NATIONS COLLABORATION
We collaborate in the goal of achieving the SDGs through global partnerships with entities that share our vision for youths.
As a youth program representative to the UN, we are able to monitor developments and provide insight to the United Nations about the needs of young people, while also making sure that the UN hears their voices.
Ambassadorial speakers grace our community with insight into recent world developments, programs of interest to students, and the global aspirations of the UN.
Our UN relations team works with government Missions to the UN to sponsor youths in a variety of other programs.
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SPECIALIZING IN EDUCATING YOUTHS
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Opening Young Minds through Experience
Our programs focus on solution-building. As students become aware of the numerous issues facing our planet today, they learn that there are solutions to all of them. They negotiate these solutions with international peers, highlighting that they are not alone in resolving global crises. It becomes clear that the path to change is open and that youth will lead the way.
Safe and Secure Events in Person and Online
Access to both online and onsite sessions is restricted to participants, and their privacy is protected. At larger onsite venues, security ambassadors and a medical professional credential all participants and secure the conference areas.
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
She founded MMUN to help students find their voices, take action and build peace as a way of honoring Maria Montessori’s legacy and implementing her dream of world firstname.lastname@example.org
She has led international teams in cooperation on research and development as well as on policy development. She has assisted governmental organizations across Europe for the last 20 years, and prior to that worked in the US in think-tank on American policy implementation in the sustainable transport email@example.com
Chair of the MMUN Board of Directors and Business Manager
He worked in collaboration with Judith Cunningham to help craft the operational structure supporting the founding of the MMUN program in her vision. Michael acts as the liaison with the Ambassadors and UN leadership that support MMUN during the course of the firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Conference Operations
She has 30 years of organizational management experience, having operated two prominent Montessori schools, owned three successful businesses, and improved operational efficiency for other entities over the years. A former head of school, elementary teacher, and Secretariat Bureau Member, Michele has guided students in the MMUN program since 2006. Michele holds two Montessori diplomas in addition to a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester and Master of Arts from St. John’s College Great Books Program.email@example.com
She is AMS Montessori certified for ages 6-12. After a brief career in the business world working for a Japanese trading company in NYC, Christa moved to Japan to learn Japanese and teach English. Christa returned to the states knowing her future was with children and teaching. She began working in an Upper El classroom at Montessori Children’s House and completed her Montessori Elementary training at the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, MD in 1995. She completed her Masters’ degree from Trinity Washington University in 1996. Christa has served as curriculum coordinator and has taught in the classroom in Ireland, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida. She attended the first MMUN conference in 2007 with her class from NJ and has continued to work with MMUN to train delegates, teachers and families about the importance of helping the youth of our world find the path to a more peaceful firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Development and Procurement
He works to negotiate hotel contracts, develop new venues, organize event travel, plan our MMUN tours, and manage the audiovisual aspects of the conference and evening email@example.com
Marketing & Communications Director
She comes from a past experience of 15 years in the private sector, mainly working for the entertainment industry, intellectual property rights management and event firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Client Services
She has over 12 years of service in school environments in the USA, New Zealand, and China. Angela has also taught in public, private, and public charter Montessori schools. Additionally, she has trained many delegations to attend MMUN in the email@example.com
Director of Training
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, MFA from New York University and the AMI Adolescent Credential. Gabriel began working with the MMUN at the first conference in 2006 in NYC and has worked in a cross section of capacities in support of the firstname.lastname@example.org
He comes from the automotive sector, the entertainment industry, and managing intellectual property rights. Gianfranco has worked with regional finance companies in their support to small and medium enterprises, and also briefly delved into the world of film production. Numbers, data analysis, contracts, and reports were always an important part of his email@example.com
Bureau Operations Manager
Maria Mirela Nita
Her passion for contributing to a better society is nurtured and leveraged at MMUN as she works on projects that enhance global firstname.lastname@example.org
Asia Liaison & Training
Born, raised and living in Manila, Philippines, she is co-founder and Education Director of a Montessori school for students ages 3-16. She has been an educator for more than 25 years, 16 of which have been concurrent as university lecturer, teacher trainer and published author. She has experience in teaching students of all levels (pre-school to graduate school). With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she went on to pursue a Master’s degrees in Psychology and Education. She finished post-master’s Advanced Studies in Education from Loyola, Maryland. Hope is Montessori (AMI) certified for the primary and elementary levels, and obtained certification for teaching adolescents from NAMTA (North American Montessori Teacher’s Association). In 2017, she was awarded the Education Leadership Award by the World Education Congress.email@example.com
Regional Director in East Asia
He supervises and coordinates the activities of MMUN participating schools throughout East Asia. He collaborates with schools in their development of MMUN Summer and After School Programs designed to prepare their students for MMUN firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Manager China
She is also a producer for an Educational TV Station. She has distinguished herself as a pioneer in the field of education documentaries. She has made a significant and unique contribution within television production and education in her country.Xinping@montessori-mun.org
Former President of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), was UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for programme and strategic planning, in charge of developing the overall UNICEF strategies in the field of child health, education, nutrition and child protection until his retirement in 2003.
Presently Anushree is also a chair at the prestigious Berkeley Model UN (BMUN). Anushree’s passion for giving a platform for youth to be heard has led to the creation of the SDG bridge App, sponsored by MMUN, she has also served as the Secretary General at the IMUN at the Indian School Al Ghubra International, Muscat, Oman in 2017.
Ms. Margo LaZaro, is the President and Chair of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY Further, Ms. LaZaro represents Youth for a Better World: MMUN at the United Nations. She has thirty years of experience at the United Nations working in the UN NGO Community as a Chief Developer of meetings, conferences and Special Events with impactful messages that support the SDGs.
Mr. Ungerer has served in leadership positions of many organizations, including as Executive Director of the American Montessori Society based in New York City from January 2005 through July 2017. Before joining AMS, he led a number of organizations committed to enhancing education and global learning including as President of the National Institute for Work and Learning, the “I Have a Dream Foundation;” the Organization Development Network and the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education; and was a Special Assistant in the U.S. Office of Education.
Dr. Betsy Coe is a founding teacher coordinator of MMUN, internationally known and respected Montessorian who has made significant contributions to peace education. She is the principal of the Middle School and High School at School of the Woods in Houston, TX, and has been a pioneer in helping schools all over the world to spread Maria Montessori’s vision.
Dr. Betsy created the first AMS secondary education course while serving as executive director of the Houston Montessori Center, a teacher education center that hosts 100+ students each year from all over the world. Additionally, she served on the AMS Board of Directors for 20 years, longer than anyone else in the history of the organization.
Gloria Starr Kins
Dame Gloria Starr Kins, is a veteran UN Correspondent and Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the influential Society and Diplomatic Review, a publication carefully read by many Ambassadors and Mission staff. Gloria is Vice-Chair of the Center for Global Action for Sustainable Development (CGASD), a founding member of UNICEF’s Manhattan chapter, the Islamic Council of Europe, and the Islamic Defense League in London. She also serves as a Government Liaison on the Board of Directors for the OCCAM Infopoverty World Conference and is the Oklahoma University liaison. In addition, she is the co-founder with Ambassador Salem Azzam and Muzzam Maley of Saudi Arabia of the Islamic Council of London.
Friends of MMUN
Schools around the world can support MMUN programs by joining our “Friends” project to host an MMUN workshop and grow impact from within their own community.Learn how to become a Friend of MMUN
This year we will be attending the New York conference with four new Bureau members and a secretariat teacher, and our Rome group will be the biggest ever, with almost 70 participants all together.
We are convinced that our students’ interest in MMUN will continue to grow, as we strongly believe that it represents a worthwhile and meaningful part of our school’s curriculum.
NETWORK & SUPPORTERS
Companies, individuals and institutions can support our projects by sharing MMUN’s vision and mission through donations.
Join our community now to help us create a better world.