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Local youth receives honors at Model UN

BEEKMANTOWN - She's the first student at Beekmantown High School to receive honors twice in a row at Harvard Model United Nations.

Senior Bryn Retherford, who took part in Harvard Model UN Jan. 28-31, represented Bolivia in the United Nations Council for Human Rights.

Retherford began Model UN in ninth grade, a requirement for honor students.

"I ended up being pretty good at it and its something that I've always been interested in international politics," she explained.

After receiving Best Delegate at both the Beekmantown Model UN and North Country Model UN in 10th grade, Retherford applied to be on the Harvard Model UN team.

She competed last year receiving Outstanding Delegate, an accomplishment she achieved again this year.

"I was kind of shocked that I was able to win an award again," Retherford said. "I know I had done well, but I'm actually the first person from my school to win two awards at Harvard ... I was really happy that all my hard work was recognized by the director and moderator."

Retherford said she prepared for the Harvard Model UN for six months, reviewing numerous studies from the United Nations.

"I have actually a binder that's probably about 500-600 pages worth of studies that I had to read," she explained. "It's a lot of work."

Scott Tuller, advisor for the school's Model UN program, said he expected Retherford to receive the award again.

"After having worked with delegates for a long time and seeing how they perform in committee, generally [I] can figure out if they're in the hunt or not," he said. "She was definitely, as far as I was concerned, award-worthy."

Tuller said he was proud of Retherford and considers her to be a "phenomenal delegate."

"It's a gigantic commitment to do well at one Harvard conference, because it takes so much research and so much work and so much concentration," Tuller said. "For her to do it again, I've never seen anything like it. She has a lot of poise and she's an outstanding research and she's pretty dogged about her approach. She goes right in there and runs the show."

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