Marymount and Laurier Mac students to join world delegates at UN forum

lmac and marymount logos
Montreal - Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Marymount Academy International in NDG   and Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard will each have a representative joining a roundtable of panelists at an upcoming United Nations Forum in New York City.

Laurier Mac’s Gianna Simancas and Marymount’s Yasmeen Lrhazi, both Secondary V students, will be presenting their projects online on behalf of their teams at the NGO-UNCSW-67 Forum on March 13.

LMAC students

LMAC students

The roundtable is taking place during the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women March 6 to 17, attended by representatives of member states and NGOs from all over the world.

The EMSB projects were presented by Voices of Olympia Canada, a global citizenship learning-based initiative located in Montreal, which mentors the students. “Both projects closely reflect the theme of this year’s VOOC school competition,” said Anne Beamish, EMSB’s Secondary English Language Arts consultant.

Marymount students and teacher

Marymount students and teacher

This year’s theme centers around innovation, technological change and education in the digital age and the empowerment of girls and women in Canada. Laurier Macdonald and Marymount are among six Montreal-area schools which participated.

Marymount Academy’s team is composed of Secondary V students Samantha Woo, Min Seo Kim, Shupeng Liu Wendling and its spokesperson, Ms. Lrhazi.

“These students were chosen because I felt that they were the types of students who would be able to accomplish a complex task on their own due to their self-motivation, discipline and intelligence,” said Richard Ouwendyk, a teacher at Marymount, who is overseeing the project. “They are all independent thinkers and concerned with issues surrounding human rights and social justice.”

The project consists of creating a website and an app that will direct international students to information that might otherwise be difficult to access. They plan to work with the YMCA and other community groups to make their information highly relevant to international high school students in Montreal.

At Laurier Macdonald in St. Leonard under the supervision of teacher and IBMYP Coordinator Valérie Barnabé, spokesperson Gianna and her team of Hannah Tinkler, Andrea Vaccaro and Giovana Wendling submitted their project, “Impacts of technology on gender-based violence in Canada. “I feel so privileged to be able to participate in this amazing opportunity with this team. I can’t ask for better students to be on this journey with,” said Ms. Barnabé.

About the contest

The two spokespersons are scheduled to participate in coaching sessions with Voices of Olympia Canada School Competition.

Voices of Olympia Canada has been at the UN for the last three years; however this is the first time the EMSB is participating, and it was the only participant in the public sector this year.

Both Marymount and Laurier Macdonald offer the IB Middle Years Programme.  “It is a bilingual project for girls in Secondary IV   and  V,” explained Ms. Beamish. “This is in line with the IB philosophy, which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world.”

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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