CHS Yale Model Congress 2020 Recap
December 7, 2020
Dear CHS Community,
I hope you all have been well! This past weekend, 19 CHS students (Matthew Agate; Alexandra Angelini; Caleb Augustin; Aidan Bradley; Kathleen Bryan; Paulo Dos Santos; Jeremiah Harrington; William Kneen; Marcos Lopez; Lauren Marshall; Nathan Nagel; Adam Opp; Sam Palomba; Jesiah Reinmund; Isabela Reyes; James Sikora; Gabriel Silva; Raines Smith; Claire Snyder) attended this year's Yale Model Congress conference and spent a combined 23 hours alongside 450 students from 32 high schools across the country introducing bills, making speeches, writing amendments, caucusing, and learning from each other.
This year's YMC was held completely online and all conference activities were conducted over Zoom. For an extracurricular activity like MC that holds so much of its appeal in its overnight trips and opportunities to travel, it was quite moving to see so many CHS students choosing to engage this weekend in what initially felt like a "stripped down" version of MC. Those taking a cursory glance of our students taking conference calls from home this weekend for an average of eight hours a day while dressed in western business attire might think that our kids signed up for four days of work.
In many ways, YMC was exactly that: work -- that which mirrors the weightiness and magnitude of the real-life, nation-shaping work that congresspeople on Capitol Hill are engaged in right now. This weekend, our students decided to engage in that work. It is true that at Model Congress, the legislation is hypothetical and the roles are a fancier version of playing pretend. However, the debates and the human connections made are real in every way, and I am so proud of our students for seeing the value in that and choosing to put their 100% into this weekend.
YMC 2020 was highly competitive this year. Congratulations to Adam Opp '21 (and MC co-president) who was an awarded an Honorable Mention in the Blue House Full Session. Well done!
Lastly, in the absence of the (literally hundreds of) photos that are typically taken at every conference, CHS students recorded a vlog documenting their time at YMC this year. As I'm working on editing the final cut of this vlog together (will be made available for viewing after December 20th, once I'm done with finals!), I can't overstate how special it is to see how our students truly thought of YMC as something they experienced together, despite being physically apart. It shows that unity and community are written into the identity of our school; that challenging, transformative events like Model Congress conferences still retain their impact in the age of distance learning so long as students continue to reach out to each other.
Again, congratulations to the 19 students who participated in Yale Model Congress this year and represented our school with pride and honor. 15 students will be headed to Harvard Model Congress (which will also be held virtually) this coming February. As preparations for HMC begin this month, please continue to keep these extraordinary young people in your prayers during this season.