Personality Profile: Annabelle Arteaga

BY CAMILA ESPINOSA

As a child, junior Annabelle Arteaga said she was the only person in her family who liked watching political debates. As a result, she was always well informed about politics and current issues and believes she could be the person to solve society’s problems.

Because of this passion, she joined Model United Nations (MUN) two years ago. MUN is an extracurricular activity at the Bay, where student’s role play as the delegates of certain nations and discuss current world issues.

“I love Model UN here and it makes me feel like I am a part of the community and family at the Bay,” Arteaga said. “It gives me a feel of what daily work would be like if I studied international relations, and that is one of the reasons why I love the club so much. It not only has allowed me to meet great people, but I also have learned about current and social skills.”

Arteaga attended Saint Thomas Aquinas from sixth grade to freshman year. When she started attending the Bay, she joined MUN after she read an article about how clubs could change students’ high school experiences.

“The article was kind of an eye-opener. I never had been part of anything like that and I started to feel like I was missing out,” Arteaga said. “I just had to join something. I began looking into clubs, and I had a feeling that MUN would be a good choice. It allowed me to become friends with people who liked things that I did too.”

Arteaga said changing schools has been one of the best decisions she has ever made. She said she met amazing people and found some of her best friends.

“The people at the club helped me grow accustomed to Cypress. They were all really welcoming and kind to me,” Arteaga said. “I felt really comfortable being around people who wanted to do the same thing as me and pushed me to work for it.”

In addition to the friends Arteaga made in the club, she said she formed a strong relationship with MUN’s advisor Timothy Petritis. Petritis said he appreciates all that she does for the club.

“We found Annabelle in a box in front of the classroom, wrapped up in blankets and we took her in. Eventually she became secretary,” Petritis said. “She is the messenger between the club members and me.”

According to Arteaga, she felt like she could do more to help.  As a result, she decided to run for vice president of the club. However, she did not get the position she wanted and instead got secretary.

“At first I was not sure if I wanted to be secretary [because] it was not the position I wanted,” Arteaga said. “[However], it has allowed me to always keep in touch with people in the club and [make me] feel like I am doing something for the club that has done so much for me.”

Arteaga said being secretary has taught her to manage her time better and become more involved in the club. Moreover, she said she wants to study International Relations and that this position looks good on college applications.

“The club has helped me expand my knowledge of International Relations,” Arteaga said. “It allows me to know more of what is going on in the world and helps me learn how to deal with all kinds of people.”

Like Arteaga, Petritis said being part of MUN helps students to better shape their futures.

“The club allows students to become well-rounded in diplomacy and learn how to solve issues without violence, which is the whole point of the United Nations,” Petritis said.

Petritis said intelligence agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the state departments also like to recruit and train students who come out of MUN, as these students have been involved in diplomacy.

“If a student wants a career in the intelligence field, MUN would be a good place to get a background on how all these state and foreign departments work,” Petritis said.

Arteaga said she hopes to work in a foreign agency someday, but for now, she said she would love to attend the University of Florida (UF) because they have an outstanding International Relations and study abroad program.

“There are a lot of school options for International Relations and some of them are really great,” Arteaga said. “Being in the club allows me to gain more opportunities to get into such amazing programs and make all of my dreams come true.”

According to Arteaga, International Relations will allow her to travel to parts of the world that are unrepresented and need to be helped. She said she is the right person to go to for anything, and she loves to help.

“I am one hundred percent focused on continuing to be an officer for Model UN and learning other languages such as Portuguese and Italian,” Arteaga said. “If I want to get into a great program, I’m going to have to work for it. I am not worried, however, because I am such a hard worker.”

Without this club, Arteaga said she would not have been able to settle into the Bay as easily as she did. She said she looks forward to continuing being a member of the club for the rest of her years here.

“Joining Model UN was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Arteaga said. “I know for a fact that I have gained friends for life, and it has helped me feel included [by] doing something that I genuinely love.”

 

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