Spotlight: Raise Your Placard

A few months ago, while browsing r/MUN (a common pastime of MUN01 gals), we came upon a post from a charity called Raise Your Placard. We were so moved by their mission and goals, we reached out and asked if they would write an article explaining their organization so we could help spread the word. Below is the article RYP’s leadership provided us. We are honored to share their message and are so excited to see the future successes of their organization!

Raise Your Placard is a not for profit organization founded by four Bronx High School of Science seniors. Two of the founding members, Jack Tapay and Lillian Tzanev, came from middle schools in low income neighborhoods. Both students have seen first-hand the education disparity in New York City, and both students have been profoundly impacted by Model United Nations. These students along with fellow MUN veterans, Anthony Bonavita and Jaclyn Harwood, believe that public speaking and research skills which Model UN teaches would prove to help disadvantaged students immensely. 

Model UN is not an activity only important to those wishing to enter the field of international politics. The research required for conferences, the confidence and memory required for speaking in front of a crowd, and the social skills required for winning a position of power in a room full of competitive delegates all are invaluable skills that all fields. Model UN is a fun way to acquire these skills. Model UN builds strong connections between teammates building a good environment for all kids but especially those at risk due to the environment of impoverished neighborhoods. Students will also learn diplomacy and the art of argument. MUN teaches students how to look at a conflict from every angle as students are required to represent diverse views. In addition, MUN provides an extra source for academic skill and fruitful knowledge. 

Raise Your Placard (RYP) has begun working with Bronx middle school, M.S. 101. Together, they have created a plan to establish a Model UN team at M.S. 101. Raise Your Placard will aid in creating a curriculum, and attend some of the meetings and conferences. 

RYP hopes to give these underserved middle schoolers skills they can use for their entire life as well as a better shot at succeeding in high school. Model UN can inspire a great love of learning which can motivate students to work hard and pursue their goals. Raise Your Placard also hopes to give students tools which they can use not only in any career of their choosing but in an effort to change their own communities for the better. 

Education reform is a massive issue but it begins on a small scale. Chinese philosopher, Laozi, once said “ A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. The Raise Your Placard program hopes to be a valuable step in an ultimately larger journey. 

You can find out more about Raise Your Placard at If you have any questions or would like to reach out to RYP, their email is

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