Philadelphia and Norristown High School Students participating in the Penn Model Organization of American States (OAS) Program successfully represented the delegation of Chile at the 37th Model OAS General Assembly for High Schools at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. from November 28th to November 30th.
The Penn Model OAS program won the 2018 Model OAS Award for the program’s community engagement and outreach in making the Model OAS program accessible to more students in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
“We were honored to win this prestigious award that recognized our efforts in engaging local high school students in our program,” said Catherine Bartch, Associate Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, which houses the Penn Model OAS program.
The Penn Model OAS program is multi-year, university-community based program that links Penn university students, Philadelphia District (PSD) high school students, and Norristown-area high school students who attend educational programming at the Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Educación (CCATE). The students are engaged in collaborative teaching, research, and service.
Created by the Latin American and Latino Studies program, the Penn Model OAS Program is built around two LALS undergraduate courses that allow students to participate in conferences that mirror the activities and public policy making of the OAS.
As part of the program, Penn undergraduates and public high school students represent OAS member countries at conferences in Washington DC during the spring and fall semesters. They prepare resolutions, negotiate with other representatives, and are given access to the OAS staff and its member missions.
The Penn undergraduates have been teaching and working together with the high school students in a fall semester course entitled Democracy in Trouble: OAS to the Rescue? Each week a group of Penn students has led the structured, active, in-class (SAIL) exercises on one of the four main pillars of the OAS – democracy, human rights, security, and development to prepare the high school students for the Model OAS in D.C.