Students Attend Harvard Model Congress Conference


Sofia Solari Parravicini, Lily Brin, Noah Bonner-Monastra, and Lucia Yeager Johnson attend Harvard Model Congress Conference.

At the end of February, five Friends Select students traveled to Boston to attend the Harvard Model Congress conference. The conference is led by Harvard undergraduates and is the largest congressional simulation conference in the world. There were 1300 students total in attendance. Sarah Kelly and Ian Lockey, the faculty advisors for the HMC club, along with five students from 11th grade, stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, where the conference took place. 

Lily Brin ‘23, the club’s leader, thinks that this year’s Harvard Model Congress conference was “amazing.” She notes, “through the hours and hours of meetings, debating, and bill writing, I learned so much about government, public speaking, and more.” Lily was also the first student to bring the idea to FSS, and seeing that idea materialize felt exciting to her. “I think that the connection FSS now has with HMC is very valuable,” she explains. 

All five students reflected on their experiences at the conference:

Noah Bonner-Monastra ‘23: Harvard Model Congress helped me explore my interests in possibly being a part of Congress someday. I learned about the process of creating a bill and all of the governmental procedures that come before a bill. However, what I enjoyed most besides this was interacting with kids my age and forming friendships that I will be able to grow outside of HMC. Another extremely interesting thing I learned was how almost everything you ask about doing in government has to be voted on.

Lily Brin ‘23: Though I did really enjoy the online conference last year, the in-person aspect amplified my learning and social experience infinitely. I’m so excited to do this next year and continue to grow. Friends Select unintentionally prepared me for HMC. I think that everything about self-advocacy, problem solving, and open communication with authority figures truly helped me at the conference.

Henry Planet ‘23: Harvard Model Congress was an amazing experience this year. The intensity of working with other people my age to navigate our political system was both educational and incredibly fun. The thrill of cleaning up bills before session or running between rooms to negotiate a piece of legislation gave me an experience that I was passionate about. I also enjoyed forging friendships with delegates from both political parties and compromising on issues that, on the surface, were very partisan. The conference provided me with a realistic and exhilarating experience of US politics and I am enthusiastic to attend it next year. 

Sofia Solari Parravicini ‘23: Being able to actually attend the conference in person this year made it so much more enjoyable for me because it was a chance to get even more comfortable with public speaking, bill writing, and also collaborating with the other delegates as well. I was able to make friends with other people in my committee and even their insights were incredibly helpful. Being in person also allowed me to get a better sense of how Congress and certain procedures work since certain activities online were cut short. Now that I’m even more comfortable, I would love to do this again this year.

Lucia Yeager Johnson ‘23: Throughout the conference I formed a closer bond with my fellow classmates and teachers, making this trip an experience I’ll never forget. Additionally, I was able to meet and make friends with kids from all over the country while working together to write legislation. Harvard Model Congress gave me the chance for independence and socialization that made me feel more prepared for life after graduation. The in-person conference was drastically different from the online version last year which intimidated me at first, but fortunately, I was able to adapt and have loads of fun. Hopefully, I will also attend next year feeling more prepared and confident. Thank you so much to all the donors, our faculty chaperones, and Lily, our club leader, for making this wonderful experience possible!

If you are interested in joining Harvard Model Congress, contact Lily.