Welcome from our Advisor, Marissa Aguilar:
What a pleasure to see all of you again! I keep telling my students that LIFE IS ABOUT CHOICES, and today I see that you made a choice by coming here. You chose to do your regular school work plus MUN. You chose to view world news with open minds and understand issues such as why Brazil has a president from the far extreme right; why Venezuela has two presidents-one official and one self – proclaimed. Why the US government shut down for quite a long time, why populism is spreading in Europe and America? And so many other interesting issues!
You chose to “feel” the world with a caring heart when you are interested in knowing more about a humanitarian crisis like the one in Yemen, or show empathy towards the migrants. And of course, you are here to develop skills and become stronger leaders. I invite you to stand by your choice and show your passion the next three days and when you go home, apply, extend, transfer and then we will know that IMMUNS continues to succeed every year.
Make it happen.
Commencement Message from our Secretary General, Claudia Elizondo:
Hello, delegates. Thank you all for being here and believing in IMMUNS and in Secretariat. It is our great privilege to have you all here with us today ready to find diplomatic solutions to the pressing issues that the international community faces today. For the past few months, Secretariat has been working hard to bring you the IMMUNS Experience, and it has been my great pleasure and honor to work alongside such incredible, diligent people to bring this event to life once again. On behalf of all of us, I hope that IMMUNS becomes a stepping stone in your path to growing into a true world leader and global citizen. Let’s make it happen, delegates!
Our Guest Speakers’ Things to Remember:
1. Your Attitude is an Investment!
- If time is something that can be saved, spent, or wasted, then it is also something that can be invested. Spending your time is a chore, and can be seen as more of a waste and can be negative. You invest your time with the attitude you choose to bring to every situation. Like with a financial investment, there is risk involved and you have to give something up, but you can get something better back!
2. Pull Out The Gym Mats!
- As you walk through your day, at your school, at work, at home and in your community, you have the opportunity to pull out the gym mats… to make the people you encounter feel safe, feel protected, and feel like they can do anything. You do that be being a caring, empathetic and present person, giving of yourself and making connections whenever possible.
3. Be Mindful What you Carry in our Backpack
- Our memories, the things that define us, are something we carry with us every day, so we have to choose carefully what it is we carry. They are a backpack in our minds that we carry our entire lives. The negative things can weigh us down, but the positive things will make us stronger and better able to handle any adversity.
4. 2000 Choices a Day… What Will Yours Be?
- Every day, you have around 2000 choices you make… what socks to wear, which one to put on first, what to eat, what to say, how to act – they all break down into hundreds of small choices that build your day. The problem is, some of those choices are made the same way, so often, that they have become a habit. Some of those habits can be negative and have an adverse effect on our days and our lives. Think carefully about the choices you make and which ones have become habits that perhaps you can change.
5. Get In The Game!!
- All too often we think that life is going to come to us, or that success and happiness will be left on our doorstep like a gift. It won’t. Like a child waiting by the net in a soccer match thinking the game is going to come to them, we are offside and will never succeed that way. We need to get it the game! It won’t be easy, and we will get knocked down, but we get to choose how to respond to that and get back up! Pain is Inevitable, Misery is a Choice!!
1. Know your why
- If you don’t know why you’re doing whatever it is that you’re doing, chances are that when things start to go wrong with the plan, you’ll give up. Knowing your why will help shed light on all of the important areas of your project. It will reinforce the need to keep going. People will often start into a project without understanding their why. In those instances, when problems start to arise it’s easy to give up because there is no weight to the project or consequences to stopping. Knowing and understanding your ‘why’ will help push you past the finish line.
2. You’re not too young.
- Lots of ambitious young leaders are told that they are too young to be dreaming so big. I don’t know if the problem is that the people who are telling them this nonsense are embarrassed that they weren’t able to accomplish something so big when they were younger. Maybe it’s that they still can’t accomplish a goal so ambitious. It could be that they just don’t understand because the times are so different from when they were younger. You’re not too young. You’re not too young to dream, to love, to go after your dreams, to create. It may be too young for them, but that’s why they didn’t do it. Haters gonna hate. Potatoes gonna potate!
3. Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of it
- These days, it’s easy to get caught up in social media. We scroll through and see people’s carefully curated lives online highlighting special moments and all of their success. When people neglect to post their failures, it’s hard to think that they ever fail. It can seem like it’s all just so effortless for them. It’s like we are embarrassed to post about or talk about our failures. ‘If nobody posts or talks about their failures, they probably never fail, and so I must be the only person failing.’ We need not be embarrassed by our failures. Instead, we need to learn from them, use them as motivation, understand what happened and why and make things better the next time. If you aren’t failing, chances are you’re not setting ambitious enough goals.
4. There are magic moments happening right in front of us when we fail
- When failure does happen, keep looking at the big picture. It’s important that we learn from our failure but it’s also important that we don’t spend SO much time thinking about the mistake that we miss the magic moments that are happening right in front of us. There can be powerful lessons in those mistakes that are happening just outside of our focus. If our focus is too sharp on the failure, we’ll pass by those magic moments happening just outside of that focus.
5. Break it down
- Houdini discovered that the real secret of the straitjacket escape was simply to break it down into small bits. When the doctors who sold him his jacket told him that it was impossible to escape from, it was based on their experiences watching patients get SO overwhelmed by the whole process of getting out, that they would give up before they started to try to escape. By breaking it down into a bunch of manageable steps, Houdini unlocked the secret to freedom. When we dream big, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. We must simply remember that it’s just a matter of breaking things down into smaller steps. If the particular step we’re working on seems impossible, we can break that down further. It’s also o.k to ask for help! We don’t have to be superheroes all of the time.
Closing Ceremony – A farewell from our Secretary General, Claudia Elizondo:
Delegates, thank you all for being here. It has been my great pleasure to have seen you these past few days, working so hard to solve today’s issues. You all came up with great solutions for the large variety of topics you debated. However, I am sure we can all agree that coming up with these solutions was not easy. There were disagreements and many other obstacles that made the process frustrating at times, but made the end result much more valuable.
There is a song that I love, If We Have Each Other by Alec Benjamin, that says, “The world’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad, if we have each other.” I find this lyric expresses two of the most fundamental parts of life, the human connection and the ability to grow and improve. Both parts are present here in IMMUNS. You all created connections within your committees, and all learned something in your three days here. Chairs also created connections with each other, and advisors got to enjoy each other’s company once more.
I do not believe, however, that the world should be perfect. If the world was perfect, we would not be here at IMMUNS. If the world was perfect, we would not see the triumph of compassion and kindness. If the world was perfect, we would seldom witness the endurance of the human spirit. I want to thank you all for getting us a little closer to perfection. I want to thank Secretariat for letting me lead you and being so wonderful and hardworking I have learned so much from you this year. I want to thank especially the seniors in the class, who in the past four years have been on this journey with me. I want to thank Ms. Eva Lamadrid, Mr. David Scott, Dr. Michael Adams, Mr. Sheldon Guenther, Ms. Salinas, and Ms. Escamilla. Last, but not least, I want to thank Ms. Aguilar, our wonderful advisor, for always being there for us and loving us like you do. We know we are not perfect, so thank you for all you have done and continue to do every single day for us. Thank you all once again delegates, and now without further ado, I declare IMMUNS 2019 officially closed.
We hope to see you next year at IMMUNS 2020!