Children tackle global conflict topics in student diplomat program

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts the program.

John McDevitt
May 16, 2018 - 1:54 pm
Student Diplomat Program

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Kids from 50 middle schools in and around Philadelphia have been participating in a student diplomat program over the past five months, debating and defending global topics. The final conference was held Wednesday on campus of Temple University.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosts the program. The students represent various countries and have been working on resolutions to end food insecurity and to protect and preserve women's and girl's access to education.

"If there is something written in there that another country doesn't agree with, they actually take the time to talk about it, discuss, collaborate and reach a consensus and amend the clauses and eventually vote on a final resolution," said Kristin Hutchinson, the director of student programs for the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

Fourteen-year-old Zoe Magee is a student at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School.

"I actually use to be a very shy speaker," Magee said. "Now I am getting the feel of actually debating and saying, 'actually, this could be better' or saying, 'I respectfully disagree.""  

Conflict resolution, problem solving and cross-cultural communication are some of the skills organizers hope the kids develop in the program.