YMCA Civic Engagement alumnus Shannon Reimers has always been a stickler for rules. During her first year at the Conference on National Affairs, she was feverishly attuned to every proposal presented to her. Much to her annoyance at that time, one delegate, Ally Brown, interrupted Shannon during each presentation. “We eventually became the best of friends,” she said.
Shannon Reimers attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, from where she graduated in 2010. “I remember it very clearly,” she said. “I was at my high school freshman orientation activity fair, and this very loud, boisterous boy named Sam Unger convinced me to join. I had an absolutely fantastic time at Model United Nations during that year,” she added.
Shannon says that befriending various people at the YMCA Civic Engagement conferences has been the most fulfilling component of her experience as a current staff member and former delegate. She has been involved with both Model United Nations and Youth & Government for the past nine years in varying capacities.
“I really love the programs and they were instrumental in shaping my values during high school and beyond,” she said. “I wanted to have an impact on the way it influenced others as well, so I joined as a staff member after I graduated.”
Her time in the program has given her various skills and opportunities. “I definitely learned public speaking skills,” she said. “I was with these people who had different opinions and it was important to share my opinions and working with different ones. That’s a great skill.”
Shannon is also part of the extensive YMCA Civic Engagement Alumni Network. Association with this group results in tremendous benefits, according to her. During spring break of her senior year in college, Shannon was able to acquire crucial career opportunities as a result of various MUN and Y&G alumni. “I was fortunate to make many contacts people in the field I’m interested based on connections from the alumni network, which has been great for exploring my next career steps,” she said.
In January 2015, Shannon will attend the first annual YMCA Civic Engagement Homecoming at the 2015 YMCA Model United Nations Conference. Numerous alumni are expected to attend this event in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Shannon has played a large role in organizing and promoting the event.
“I’m very excited for the Y-MUN Homecoming Event,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great way to bring back lots of different generations of alumni and connect them with the program again. I think they’ll enjoy seeing how much the program has grown, the different changes that have come about, and just how many students we’re bringing to the program.”