In the fall of 2007, while working at Nueva the League directors founded the first Model UN program at the Nueva School, as an informal academy. In their free time on weekends and after school they created the curriculum, organized logistics, and secured funding, which culminated in a substantial educational experience for a highly motivated group of 8 students.
Eight founding delegates formed this first delegation that traveled to Haarlem, The Netherlands, in March of 2008. This initial Model UN conference and life-changing experience the delegation had living on a dairy farm in Waterland is one that will never be forgotten.
In the summer of 2008, founding delegate Nishad Singh emailed the two directors wondering how the program would continue, and offered his words of courage, support, and confidence. This particular delegate was 12 years old at the time, but it was enough for the directors to understand that the seed that had been planted had kept growing on its own. As the two young lawyers set aside their profession of law to create a high quality education program, the natural enthusiasm from the original founding delegates is precisely what propelled the development and creation of the League from its inception.
The two directors, along with the support of many wonderful parents, friends, and teachers, were able to make this leap from an informal academy at one school to what would become the League of Creative Minds. In this new setting, the top 3% of students from a variety of schools in the Greater Bay Area (including students as far away as Sacramento and Yosemite) commute to LCM on a weekly basis to attend the League classes.
The League (LCM) expands to 25 delegates. LCM debates at Mission Viejo, Berkeley, and at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Catarina and Simon volunteer their time for a second year while developing and testing the class model of what would later become the formal organization. Delegates enroll from 4 different schools.
The League enrolls 75 delegates from the surrounding Bay Area and opens its first Hall of Debate in October of 2009. Students enroll from 28 different schools. LCM is invited to represent a youth leadership panel at the Arnold Schwarzenegger UN Climate Change Summit before Copenhagen. League delegates compete in 7 different national conferences and two international conferences in Dublin, Ireland, and in Beijing, China.
The League enrolls 85 year-round delegates in the fall of 2010. The League runs a novice pilot delegation, the initial class enrolls 9 delegates from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Students from over 35 schools enroll. The League attends 9 Model UN conferences and two international conferences-one in South Korea, followed by Beijing. The field study pilot program is born and delegates undergo an advanced study in culture and history as they carefully retrace the ancient Silk Road through the Uighur region in Western China.
The endeavors of the League thus far lead to the creation of an academic diplomatic curriculum aimed at enhancing early leadership development through critical thinking for youth. The League pioneers a multi-sector approach to academic development that uses the concept of diplomacy as a decision-making tool, rather than an end goal. League classes follow the Harkness Method; lectures with particular academics are integrated into the curriculum; another pilot field study the time in cultural anthropology in Rome, Italy.
Through youth entrepreneurship and leadership by the delegates the LCM pilot Middle School debate conference, held at the Stanford School of Medicine, is officially launched.
The official LCM International Field Study Program is founded in July of 2013. The field study took place within the Balkan States of Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia. We remain in gratitude of all our hosts in our previous pilot studies in Northwestern China, all over Turkey, and in Rome, Italy. A special note of gratitude to the State Department, the Department of Justice, and Stanford University. Upcoming is a field study on Poverty in the United States, as well as our Middle Eastern field study for the summer of 2015.
This academic school year the League enrolls 168 year-round delegates. The delegates are from 62 different schools, and live in 31 cities all across the Bay Area (including one delegate commuting from Yosemite).