Charting Their Own Course: Final Career Breakfast Highlights Innovation

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Each of their career pathways has been filled with multiple twists and turns — and one constant — key lessons learned during their time as students at Bayview Glen School (BVG). 

“It is always great to have the chance to contribute back to the community that I benefited from when I was young,” says Daniel Mak ‘05, one of three invited BVG alumni to present at the final Career Breakfast of the school year. “It was an honour to be a guest speaker and thank you for your trust to deliver a note or two that might benefit the students.” 

Daniel began at BVG as a Grade 8 student in 2000, recalling how he felt empowered to try new things during his time at the school, including creating an investment club when one didn’t exist. 

“I was trusted by many teachers and especially Ms. [Dina] Astrella,” shared Daniel. “She gave me a lot of flexibility in leading extra-curricular activities that were not offered by the school back then.  It also made me realize that I could do new things that are not part of the standard offerings and allowed me to have my own journey,” he says. 

All of which has served him time and again in various professional experiences, including, helping run a family business selling carpet and wallpaper to casinos and hotels in his homeland of Macau, working in cybersecurity, deep tech and quantum computing, to his current role as General Partner, Strategic Growth at Awz Ventures, a multi-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Toronto. 

“Fail early, fail fast and just try not to make the same mistake again,” Daniel told the packed audience of more than 100 students, faculty and staff who gathered in the Moatfield Campus Learning Commons for the event.  

Reflecting on the high school version of himself, Daniel says he would offer today’s student this simple advice: 

“Everyone’s path is different, hard skills on paper are only one part of qualifications and get you to the table/job interview, but soft skills, the human element, is what will actually land you the job or provide you with opportunity to lead. Be smart and not always right,” he says. 

Saba Ketabchi Haghighat was the youngest BVG alum on the panel — having graduated in 2016.  She was also the only one to join virtually — from California — where she is a hardware engineer who works on the Apple watch. 

“I believe representation in every field matters, especially as a woman in engineering, and I would love to see more women in our field,” she says. “The Career Breakfast is a great opportunity to encourage more BVG students to pursue a similar career path if they’re interested and aren’t sure how they can get started.” 

Following BVG and a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Waterloo,  
Saba has worked in Canada, France and the U.S. as a software developer, among other roles, in industries including healthcare and technology.  

“Joining STEM-related clubs in high school allowed me to learn about some engineering-related concepts through hands-on projects and math/programming contests,” she says. “So when it came to looking into universities and applying for various programs, I had an idea of which engineering disciplines I liked more than others.” 

Her advice to students stems in part from her own career trajectory, during which she has had to be resilient often. 

“Don’t be afraid of failing or bad experiences,” says Saba. “They’re all experiences that lead you on the right path, and learning about what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you’re passionate about.” 

As a student at BVG, Konstantine Tsotsos says he “liked spaceships. I thought they were really cool!” 

That passion has propelled him to a variety of experiences centered on cutting-edge technology, since graduating from BVG in 2007.

“I’ve been very lucky in having the right mentors and sponsors at the right times in my life, but not everyone has that,” he says. “If I can play that role for even one student [who is] unsure of how to tackle their future, then I consider that a huge success. That’s why it was important for me to join this event, to try to give back and support the growth of the next generation of engineers.” 

Konstantine’s academic and career journey has included an internship at NASA, a PhD in Computer Science and his current role at Google in San Francisco, as a Staff Software Engineer and Manager, a role that involves working collaboratively to develop real-time 3D perception and sensor fusion technologies. 

“STEM is an amazing path,” he says.  

When it comes to offering words of wisdom to students, Konstantine says: “Keep working both harder and smarter. If you can’t figure out how, look for new people to learn from who are more successful than you. If you want to keep growing, avoid situations where you feel like you’re the smartest person in the room.” 

Related stories: 
Pathways to Professional Life: Career Breakfast Spotlights Media 

Career Breakfast: Tuesday, February 28

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Join us for our third, and final Career Breakfast Speaker Series of this academic school year on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 a.m. Enjoy some hot chocolate, coffee and pastries while we shine the spotlight on Bayview Glen alumni focusing on Innovation and Engineering.

Saba Ketabchi Haghighat from the Class of 2016 is an Apple Watch Hardware Engineer based in California. Saba studied Biomedical engineering at the University of Waterloo and completed a number of internships and co-op opportunities before completing her degree. She has held the titles of Software Developer, Facial Rehabilitation Game Developer and Undergraduate Research Assistant in Toronto, France and California.

Konstantine Tsotsos from the Class of 2007, is a technical lead and manager on the Google AR Team where he leads teams of researchers and engineers in developing cutting-edge real-time 3D perception and sensor fusion technologies. His teams’ recent work includes the ARCore Depth and Environmental HDR Lighting APIs, along with other foundational ARCore capabilities. Prior to Google, he obtained his doctorate in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a focus on visual-inertial sensor fusion and his Bachelor of Applied Science in engineering science from the University of Toronto.

Daniel Mak from the Class of 2005 is General Partner, Strategic Growth at Awz Ventures, a Canadian-Israeli VC firm focused on commercial applications of innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based, deep-tech, cyber security, & intelligence technologies. He currently sits on the board of several startups in the cyber security and intelligence space such as Nanolock, as is the winner of multiple industry awards.

Join us to learn more about their professional journeys!

Students from both the Prep and Upper Schools, as well as their parents, are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Adriana Dybala, Academic and Career Counsellor at

New Immersive Experiences Highlight Annual Winter Fun Day

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A popular, decades-long tradition at Bayview Glen School (BVG) took on a new look, feel and in one case — a new name — this year. 

“This was the first iteration of the Prep [School]’s ‘Snow Much Fun’ day, says Greg Ryerson, Director of Teaching and Learning, Prep School. The event was “reimagined and renamed” in 2023. 

For more than 20 years, Prep School (Grades 6 to 8) and Upper School (Grades 9 to 12) students have celebrated a day of fun, off-campus during the winter. 

“This is an important opportunity for students to be outdoors, spend time together without electronics, and engage in unstructured play,” says Mr. Ryerson, who was involved in organizing the day. “It did include curricular ties but more importantly it was a chance to be offsite and engaging in outdoor activities.”  

Grade 6 students visited the Toronto Zoo, Downsview Park was the venue of choice for Grade 7 classes, while Willowgrove Farm and Outdoor Education Centre hosted Grade 8 students for the day — in the beginning of February. 

“We selected a separate activity for each Grade, looking for curricular connections as well as opportunities to develop student leadership skills, focus on teambuilding, and incorporate outdoor play and exploration,” says Mr. Ryerson who accompanied the Grade 8 class. 
“A personal highlight from the Grade 8 trip was seeing the students interact with the farm animals — they really enjoyed that part of the day,” he says. “Having a nice mug of hot chocolate around the campfire at the end of the Grade 8 trip was a wonderful way to end the day.” 

For Upper School students, a new format was launched for their annual fun day, called WinterFest. 

“The purpose of the day is to build relationships with peers and teachers outside of classroom walls, discover new attractions in and around our wonderful city and try new experiences,” says Melanie Deeks, Health and Physical Education Department Head at BVG and main organizer of WinterFest for the Upper School.  

“This year, instead of one choice, students had nine choices,” adds Fiona Fenili, Head, Upper School. “Activities were presented in Assembly and students selected the one they were most interested in. From there we chose the most popular and did a formal registration.”  

The revised format and varied options proved to be a successful formula for the more than 270 Upper School students who took part. “An increase of 20% in participation is a highlight and shows that giving students choice is important,” says Ms. Fenili.  

Included on the WinterFest menu:  

  • Cooking Class at the Chef Upstairs 
  • Ice Hockey at Leaside Gardens   
  • Activate Arcade   
  • Skating at Nathan Philips’ Square West & Japanese Grill Lunch 
  • Gardiner Museum Ceramics    
  • K1 Speed Grand Prix  
  • Kensington Market Food Tour  
  • Escape Room Looking Glass Adventures & Greek Lunch on the Danforth 
  • Horseshoe Valley Resort   

And evidenced by the photos and reactions, these immersive, experiential, opportunities to connect out of the classroom with teachers, classmates, and staff — on a different level — achieved its goal, once again. 


BVG Players present ‘The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition)’

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We are excited to invite you to in-person performances of The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition) running in the J.T.M Guest Theatre for two nights only. Our Upper School students have had a lot of fun working on this production and are really looking forward to sharing it with you!

  • Thursday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Legacy of Learning: Founder’s Day 2023  

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When L. Doreen Hopkins began teaching young children in her home in the early 1960’s, little could she have imagined that the seed she planted is still growing — more than six decades later. 

On February 4, 2023, Hopkins’ bold vision and enduring legacy will be remembered as part of Founder’s Day when Bayview Glen (BVG), the school she founded, marks its 61st anniversary. 

Persevering through her own learning challenge (dyslexia), Hopkins took what has been described as her “enormous compassion for students who had developmental issues,” and started up a school that “is open to all children.”

Bayview Glen School 1968 Graduation class.

The trail she blazed sprouted a nursery school and day camp in 1962, focused on teaching the whole child. 

BVG has operated from a private residence and later a farmhouse in the valley, to permanent locations on Duncan Mill Road and later Moatfield Drive — over more than half a century — growing and evolving each passing year.

From a handful of students in Mrs. Hopkins’ first in-home class, to more than 1,000 students currently on two campuses, BVG remains rooted in the pioneering vision of its founder. 

The school’s mission of Whole Child: Whole World: Whole Life is embedded in teaching, learning and school life across all grades. 

And as with Hopkins’ own education blueprint, fresh chapters are being written on a storied history. 

The tiny seed that could has cultivated a generation of learners, with more to come.

Full STEAM Ahead: Shaping 21st Century Learners at BVG

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The threads of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) are woven through every grade at Bayview Glen School (BVG), inside and outside the classroom, starting in Junior Kindergarten. 

Focused five-year-olds, hunched over laptops in the Lower School Library is a common sight.  
It’s part of STEM Learning class, foundational to 21st century learning skills development. 
“The idea with STEM learning is to create engaged users of technology,” says Jason Meingarten ‘08, STEM and Health and Physical Education Teacher who has been a BVG faculty member since 2015. He teaches 16 classes in the Lower School.  

Jason Meingarten ‘08, STEM teacher at Bayview Glen teaches computer skills starting in Junior Kindergarten.

“We start by building a foundation of computer skills, coding and robotics skills — not so much specific coding languages — but the basic concepts required to be successful in programming,” he says. “From Grade 1 through 5, it’s just building on that year after year. The projects become more complex.”  

At the same time, students learn other critical skills like problem-solving, making predictions, taking risks, using technology responsibly – and how they, as individuals, think.  

“As part of the Visual Art course as early as Grade 1, students use creative thinking, flexibility and grit to create, revise, design and produce artwork and inventions,” says Robin Elliott ‘91, Visual Arts teacher, citing projects including building a water filtration system (Grade 2), an endangered animal project (Grade 4), and bridge design (Grade 7) as current examples of “intentional connections” teachers across grade levels strive to make to integrate STEAM learning. 

Faculty like Robin Elliott ’91 Visual Arts teacher at Bayview Glen, look for ways to integrate STEAM learning across disciplines.

An alumna, Elliott has taught at BVG for more than 25 years. She believes the school has a novel approach to STEAM education. “Students are provided the tools to facilitate innovation through parent volunteers, guest speakers, and professional collaborators,” she says, sharing another current example — Grade 7’s liaising with staff from the Canadian Space Agency.  

Inquiry-based thinking is further nurtured in SK when Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a teaching method where students are given real-world problems to solve, begins. 

Learning to code enters the curriculum in Grade 1 through to 3, setting the stage for 3D design exploration, creating websites, building and programming robots by the end of Grade 5. 

During the first year of Prep School (Grade 6), STEAM instruction dives deeper, in part, via Information and Communication Technology (ICT) class. 

Laura Gleeson, Technology Integration Specialist teacher with her class in the Robotics Lab.

“Before 2014, there was no designated technology class or program for Grades 6 to 8,” says Laura Gleeson, Technology Integration Specialist, ICT and Geography teacher. “I had the pleasure of both designing this by creating cross-curricular connections to other subjects and developing technology-based curriculum such as design thinking, 3D printing, coding and digital citizenship.” 
Photography, photoshop, engineering, graphic design and animation elements are taught in ICT in Grade 7, paving the way for even greater discovery. “Students create their own start-up companies and explore entrepreneurialism,” continues Gleeson, who has a Master’s in Education specializing in Educational Technology. “They create and build a product and pitch it to the class with a business model.”

Throughout the Preschool, Lower School and Prep School years, music and visual arts are curriculum mainstays. These, coupled with varied Clubs and Activities opportunities, reinforce and complement classroom learning. 

Robotics clubs are one such example.  

Mehernosh (Nosh) Pestonji is Robotics Co-ordinator in the Upper School. He, along with Noeen Kashif, a First Robotics Competition (FRC) Specialist, co-moderate senior robotics clubs, guiding students through practice and competitions. 

“Essentially, they have to build and design a robot from scratch, fabricate, go through all the engineering processes in about four to six weeks. Then there’s the competition,” he says.

Mehernosh (Nosh) Pestonji and Noeen Kashif, co-moderate the First Robotics Competition club at Bayview Glen School.

Pestonji was hired at BVG in 2017 to offer students in the Upper School specific instruction in FRC robotics. “They have to not only imagine a part, they have to design and manufacture it. And then that part has to fit on the robot, and there are hundreds of parts.”  
Prior to joining BVG, Pestonji taught in public and private schools for more than 30 years. 

“The robots are much larger, 125 pounds, made out of aluminum,” he continues, adding most kids who sign up for the club are new to the experience. “We started with a team of 60, now we’ve cut it down to about 40. There are no tryouts per se, they self- select. We teach them everything. They cross-pollinate and learn from each other, so self-mentoring.” 

He says robotics exemplifies the importance of interdisciplinary learning. 

“They are bringing all their theoretical knowledge and learnings to apply them in a practical way,” he says. “The key is it’s not just coding, because physics plays a big part, chemistry too. Then you have kids who are just really good with their hands. There are kids who don’t know the tools — how to use a hammer, a screwdriver, how to use pliers. There is a real learning curve there.” 

Collaboration and building skills, additional by-products of STEAM, are tested rigorously in the upper high school years.  

“Grade 12 Computer Science allows students to obtain real experience they can use on their resume if they wanted to obtain a job in the summer or for Co-op,” says Kevin Deslauriers, Computer Science and Physics teacher in the Upper School. “They learn how to become more independent in their learning as the course focuses on developing web applications along with HTML, CSS, JavaScript as well as other technologies in order to reach their final goal of building a web application that can be hosted in the cloud.”

Kevin Deslauriers, teaches Computer Science and Physics in the Upper School

Deslauriers draws on the example of Jacqueline Fung, a 2022 BVG graduate he previously taught, to illustrate impact. 

Fung secured a summer placement at RBC while still a BVG student. 

“There were 1300+ applicants for 21 spots, and I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen candidates,” Fung shared in a letter about her journey. “My programming experience is primarily all from Bayview Glen’s ICS [Introduction to Computer Science] courses. When applying, I had to submit my GitHub link, which is essentially an online profile with a programmer’s past projects. On my GitHub, I had my past projects from my ICS courses. [These] allowed me to build my portfolio and prepared me to have the skills to be a full-stack developer,” says Fung, who is currently a student in the University of Waterloo in Systems Design Engineering. “I still have much to learn, but it was very valuable to me especially as I am currently in a co-op program at university. These courses allowed me to kick-start my career.” 

Back in the Lower School, faculty across various disciplines like Jason Meingarten, are mindful of continually evolving STEAM instruction, in the younger years, to align with trends and to serve as a strong foundation.  

“With 21st century learners, which is how we classify this cohort of kids, they come in with a lot of technology skills,” says Meingarten. “A lot of them at younger ages really have exposure on tablets, so PC skills, which is something we need them to have heading into the Prep School, aren’t necessarily strong. I have noticed, specifically in the past three years, that the skills that they’re coming in with — having been in front of computers so much more than in the past — they are certainly at a higher level.” 

Full STEAM ahead indeed. 

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Helping Hands Unite: BVG Community Gives for 20th Year 

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Halima Mubaligh, Program Manager of Better Beginnings Now with Leah Kanary, Lower School teacher and BVG lead coordinator of the annual community outreach campaign.

“The impact is great. There is no other word to explain it.” 

Halima Mubaligh sums up Bayview Glen School’s annual effort to support children, parents and families in need in a word — but there is so much more. 

“A huge difference bringing a smile to the faces of these families.” says the Program Manager of Better Beginnings Now. “We had families with tears, receiving these and opening them — that someone is here thinking of them — especially during this time.” 

This past holiday season, Bayview Glen was the only school in Toronto to help the Better Beginnings Now Campaign of Kindness initiative — through a gift card collection and customized hampers filled to the brim.  

“The saying, ‘From our family to yours’ truly becomes more than just words at this time,” says Dina Astrella, Head of the Prep School. 

It marked BVG’s 20th consecutive year of participating in the program.

Prep School Better Beginnings Now student team.

 “We work with the poor, disadvantaged, high risk, new to the country, single parents, families with special needs,” says Mubaligh, who experienced first-hand the hardship of being a newcomer to Canada. 

“The success of our program is because we are there to support them, to listen to their concerns, give them direction and connect them to the resources that help them.”  
The need for services provided by Better Beginnings Now “tripled” in 2022 over the previous year, says Mubaligh. 

“Families are really going through so much stress. The rent went so high, cost of living is really high, and that’s why definitely there’s an impact on their mental health.” 

Better Beginnings Now is among several programs offered through Lumenus Community Services, an agency providing multiple services for free, including treatment programs, counselling and walk-in clinics. Funded by Toronto Public Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the organization serves more than 6,000 families across Toronto. 

The process of organizing, filling and delivering hampers to Better Beginnings Now families takes months of detailed planning by several groups. It all kicks off when school starts in September. 

“We coordinate from this end, in terms of preparing [family] profiles and looking into the needs of the clients that we provide services to,” says Mubaligh. “We have so many clients, over 1,000 — but we can only do 70 — the most high-needs, the ones that are regularly using food banks, clothing banks and have a lot of financial stressors.” 

Subsequent meetings between BVG school leads and program staff help assign family profiles to specific classrooms in the Lower School, Prep School and Upper School, identify which items need to be purchased, quantities, sizes, etc., coordinate collection, pick-up, and delivery. 

Along the way, multiple members of the whole school community become directly involved — from students and school staff — who are also assigned family profiles — to parent volunteers and the Parent Association.

Ping DiMenna has been involved in multiple Better Beginnings campaigns during her 17 years as a parent at Bayview Glen. 

“I am a parent volunteer helping to sort and pack gift donations to the families,” says DiMenna, who has four children, including three who have graduated from BVG, and one currently in the Upper School. “Better Beginnings involves the whole student population, so it becomes a tradition of giving each year as they progress through the grades. The students can see the donated gift items which makes their contributions more meaningful and personal,” she says.

Current BVG parent, Ping DiMenna, was among several parent volunteers who helped organize and fill hampers based on family profiles. 

In past years and led by members of the Better Beginnings Prep School team, students and staff would deliver hampers directly to the home of the family it was collected for, enabling students to witness the impact. 

The global pandemic halted that practice.  

In December 2022, a group of Prep School students — including student Community Outreach leads — along with staff helped collect all 27 hampers, load them into vehicles, and deliver them to a Lumenus locations in North York.  

“The thing that surprised me the most was the honest joy and tears the families had when we delivered the care packages,” says Amy Tsaur, Grade 8 student and Community Outreach Co-lead. “It was crazy how such small acts of kindness seem like they can change someone’s life.” 

It was the first time in her three years at BVG that Tsaur was able to participate in delivering the hampers. 

“I gained a greater understanding of the idea of philanthropy and how it can help others on a scale beyond measurement,” she says. “Going to deliver the packages and to the foodbank helped me develop a deeper connection and understanding with my community.” 

Fellow Grade 8 student, Nikan Nikkhajoei was struck by the process. 
“I was surprised about the manner in which we were able to collect every single item that we required for each family,” he says. “This is because it took an abundance of time, effort, and cooperation between the Heads and each Homeroom.”

The service initiative and experiential learning opportunity proved eye-opening for staff too. 

“The act of giving without expecting something in return is one of the greatest lessons we can provide our young people,” adds Dina Astrella, who was among three staff to accompany students to drop off the collected items. 

During their visit, BVG students and staff were given an overview of Lumenus, taken on a tour of the facility — which was previously a school — and even met some of the families who arrived at scheduled times to pick up their hampers. 

“We get a lot of families that are called refugees that come to Canada,” Denise Palermo, who has been with the organization for 30 years, told BVG students.

“For some perspective, if you woke up tomorrow morning and your family said we’re leaving, it’s not safe for us here now, put everything in a bag about this big that you can carry and we’ll go to the airport where it’s very chaotic, hopefully get on a plane and go to a new country. When you get here, you won’t have a home, you won’t have any money, you won’t have any access to services and you won’t understand the language, the culture and you won’t understand the systems,” Palermo continued, painting a picture of the bitter reality many of their clientele endure. 

“Often, they have to make very, very hard decisions — if I pay my rent, I will not have enough money to feed my children,” Palermo added. “All those things that you put together in those hampers are going to support those families in meeting their needs,” she says.

In all 27 bins filled, 70 families supported and more than $30,000 in gift cards collected from preschool to Grade 12. 

Leah Kanary, Lower School teacher and lead BVG staff coordinator of the initiative shared this note with colleagues following the campaign, “At a time of year where making personal, meaningful connections is so important, please know you have made a lifelong connection with the family that you helped fill a basket of love and care.”  

Community impact that will likely remain in the minds of all involved. 

“Even after all these years,” says Dina Astrella, “the Better Beginnings Campaign continues to unite our community in ways that very few other occasions do.” 

A Window on the World: Model United Nations Club Travels to New York

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The opportunity was unique on multiple fronts for members of the Model United Nations (UN) Club at Bayview Glen School (BVG).

“The club has traditionally gone on one big trip per year (usually Montreal) while attending smaller events in Toronto,” says Tom Osborne, one of two staff advisors to the club. “This year, we wanted to try something different.”

And they did just that. 

Eleven BVG students from Grade 11 accompanied by two teachers embarked on a four-day trip to New York City — home to UN headquarters, in mid-January.  

Their focus? Attending a Model UN Conference at Columbia University that immersed students in a simulation of the United Nations, where delegates are encouraged to develop solutions to problems via committees.  
The trip also included a visit to the Slovenian mission, where they had they met and interacted in-person with staff who work for the United Nations for their home country. 

“This was a unique and interesting experience that you do not get to partake in every day,” says Leela Bhide, Grade 11 student and Head of Model UN at BVG. “It taught us a lot about governance and diplomacy, which were relevant to our conference.” 

The BVG contingent also met with Slovenian ambassadors. 

“They taught us about why the United Nations is beneficial to our society and discussed Slovenia’s ideals and goals inside the General Assembly,” adds Arman Momeni, fellow Grade 11 student and Model UN club member. “Contrastingly, the representatives also educated us on some of the inequalities that plague the UN and showed us that the United Nations still has a long way to go in terms of creating an equal voice for all countries,” he says. 

Model UN is among more than 30 clubs students in the Upper School can take part in. 

“Students learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations while working on their researching, public speaking, debating and writing skills,” says Mr. Osborne, who teaches Business Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities in the Upper School. “It’s also great with critical thinking and leadership,” he says. 

“I did not know much about the club when I joined, but from hearing older peers positively reinforce it and tell me about their experiences, I thought it was something I might be interested in,” says Bhide, who is now in her second year as a club member. 
“The variety of topics that you get to research and learn more about [are interesting], as some of these topics are not things you would typically think about,” she says. “On this trip, I enhanced my collaboration skills and got to apply them in conference sessions — whether it was forming alliances and friendships with fellow delegates or having to help choose where to go for dinner that night with my classmates! We learned to collaborate with people from all around the world, who each have their own perspectives and experiences.” 

Interactions with fellow students was also a key highlight for Arman Momeni who described the trip as “surreal.” 

“The conference was an excellent opportunity to meet many like-minded individuals and to build powerful and lasting connections,” he says. “During committee sessions, all the students at the conference were very well-spoken, which allowed for intriguing and fruitful debates, taking the conference to another level. The most beautiful thing about meeting individuals from all over the world was that each student offered a new and insightful outlook on global issues, which opened up my perspective on the world both culturally and politically.” 

Apart from the mission, students also had a chance to explore the most populous city in the United States. 

“Our various adventures in New York City also acted as great learning opportunities,” continues Momeni. “During our visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET), our group was immersed in ancient art that went back several millennia. I used my time at The MET to explore the Iran section of the museum and learn about my country’s deep and rich culture,” he says. 

There were also walking adventures through Times Square, and a jaunt or two to Shake Shack! 

“The trip would not have been possible without our amazing teacher supervisors, Mr. Osborne and Ms. Alison Rowland,” says Momeni. “Their hard work allowed for an organized trip that was balanced with educational and recreational activities, and their support allowed us to excel during the conference.” 

For Tom Osborne, who has been involved as an advisor for three years, the interest shown by current club members has been a highlight. 
“I’ve been really impressed with their maturity and overall engagement in the club,” he says. “It really is a lot of work (they have to write position papers, research, etc.). It is not a passive club but is super fun. There are tons of different committees students can participate in. Some are historical, some fictional. They are all simulations. It’s really pretty cool and there is always something for everyone,” he says. 

And the impact for students continues to be felt.

“Being in Model UN has inspired me to pursue a career that pushes me to be diplomatic, collaborative, communicative, and resourceful,” says Leela Bhide. “All skills that were attained/enhanced throughout being a member of Model UN.” 

Arman Momeni agrees. 

“I encourage all Bayview Glen students to join the Model UN club if they are able to,” he says. “It is an excellent opportunity to build public speaking skills that will be beneficial to all students no matter the career path they choose.” 

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