Members of the Sonoma Valley High School Model United Nations Club recently returned from Chicago where they competed in the 30th annual Model United Nations at the University of Chicago, Feb. 1 to 4.

Team advisor Gary Gissell said that despite below-freezing temperatures, the students enjoyed both the competitions and sight-seeing around the city. “The kids enjoyed themselves and met kids from all over the country, as well as the world,” said Gissell.

The team includes Kimberly Uzzo, Grace Turner, Dominico Biaggi, Aliya Blinman, Amy Stanfield, Eliza Neeley, Cian Martin, Trinity McGuinness, Isabel Eagles, Ethan Smith, Andrew Powers and Gabe Gissell. Mary Lucchese also chaperoned the trip.

Stanford sophomore and SVHS graduate Maddy Libbey founded the high school’s Model U.N. Club in 2016.

At Chicago’s MUNUC 30, more than 2,600 high-school students assumed the roles of ambassadors and diplomats and converged for a weekend of stimulating discussion, alongside 220 University of Chicago undergraduate members.

The purpose of Model U.N. is to promote international understanding of policies and cultures of member nations throughout the globe. Meetings involve discussions, guest speakers and students acting as “mock” delegates for various countries.