The PeaceJam Foundation is an international organization whose mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody. Providing young people with the mentors, tools and community support to realize their potential and work together to envision and build a better world is a vision we share with PeaceJam. The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation was introduced to this amazing organization late last year, and has been working collaboratively with them as #Partners4Peace to promote Mattie’s message that “Peace is Possible!” PeaceJam Leadership and staff members alike have been a joy to work with, and helped us amplify our mission by housing our peace activities on their "Billion Acts of Peace" website. PeaceJam Foundation's Executive Director Kate Cumbo was our Featured Toastmaster during our April virtual #Toast2Peace, when she reflected, “Mattie’s profound commitment to peace was beyond his years – he was truly a Nobel Peace Laureate in training. We at PeaceJam are working to create a generation of young people like Mattie who will show the world how to create peace. We believe we are fulfilling Mattie’s legacy through our work, and look forward to seeing what we can do together.” The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation is eager to see how our partnership continues to promote peace throughout the world.
I am so grateful for the learning opportunities and the inspiration that PeaceJam offers to the youth I work with and to me! Attending PeaceJam conferences has been life-changing. One of my students, after meeting Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman at a PeaceJam conference, wrote "It is one thing to hear that the youth are the future from some random adult, but it is quite another to hear it from someone who made so much change in the world. She really made me believe it was true." Even though I have years of experience as a peace educator, I take away new ideas and teaching strategies from every PeaceJam event I attend. PeaceJam has inspired me to learn more about all Nobel Peace laureates and incorporate their experiences and perspectives into my teaching. I also very much appreciate how PeaceJam leaders genuinely care for the youth that mentor, and invite them into deeper relationships with one another. It is this kind of learning, mentoring, and connection that offers us hope for a better world.
I am a former teacher whose students were involved with PeaceJam over the course of many years. I can say without reservation that getting involved with this organization was the best thing I did as a teacher (and maybe the beat thing I have done as a human being). Through involvement with service learning and the PeaceJam community, it gave us all a sense of being part of something that is bigger than ourselves, which can be incredibly powerful for a young person. I even had two students who were invited by a Nobel Laureate to participate in an event in West Africa. Where else can a 16-year old, public school student have something like this happen?
When I first started college at Florida State University, I wanted to find an involvement that had everything I loved combined all in one. I searched and searched for the right involvements, and while I found some very enjoyable ones, I never really felt at home or 100% satisfied with any... that is, till I came across PeaceJam. Peace Jam has truly been my home away from home. Never in a million years, did I think that I would find an organization that consisted of everything that I love: youth, education, human rights, and global connections... all in one! I am so thankful and extremely blessed to be a part of PeaceJam. I have worked with many non-profits in the past, but this is one of those non profits that is 100% intentional about the work that they do and that to me is extremely important. They are not concerned with what we can do for them, but rather what can they do for us. I always love meeting different people involved with PeaceJam, because while we might be from different parts of the world, we can all come together and agree on the fact that PeaceJam is truly one of a kind and always willing and ready to do great work across the world.
One of the things I admire most about PeaceJam is how willing and accepting they are to take feedback on how to improve the organization as a whole. The executive officers of the PeaceJam foundation do not treat the youth as any less. They are just as interested in our advice and feedback, as they would be If they were getting that advice from a board member. At the end of the day we are all working together to achieve the common goal, which is to create the next generation of leaders, so working together is a really important concept in PeaceJam.
I have highly enjoyed all the global opportunities PeaceJam has been able to offer me and may others. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic they showed just how resilient and flexible they are. When everything seemed to be going bad, PeaceJam knew they had to step up and were able to do amazing work, regardless of the situation. It has also been really easy for me to get more involved with them, which is something I really value, considering I do put a lot of time and energy into this organization...so it is nice seeing that they do the same thing for me. I know that if I ever need anything, I can always contact someone from PeaceJam, even those who are higher up in the "hierarchy".
Regardless of my decision to pursue a career in the legal field, I know that PeaceJam will be a life long commitment/involvement for me!
This non-profit changed how I educate. In a world with very little to believe in, Peacejam redeemed hope for my students. Peacejam opened their eyes to the difference they can make even at their age. They participated in incredible service projects, met Nobel Laureates and worked with college mentors. Many of these students made a career of justice work. Peacejam is life changing.
PeaceJam opened the world of service, education, and sustainable change when I joined in college at FSU. I couldn’t imagine my life without the lessons and experiences I’ve gained through PeaceJam. There is truly no other organization that creates the safe, loving, and educational space that PeaceJam does!
I've witnessed youth in this program blossom in such beautiful and unexpected ways. This is not your average volunteerism. It is youth-led, not adults telling students how to log service hours. The participants identify a problem in their community and use critical thinking skills and collaboration to identify the root cause of this problem. Their passion and creativity take over as they explore and implement ways to help their community solve the problem. Self-confidence, empowerment, and pride are just a few of the many rewards. Interaction with Nobel Peace Laureates and youth around the world is icing on the cake! PeaceJam provides a sense of belonging, a window to the world, and so much more.
I have been involved with Peacejam for a few years and have nothing but incredible things to say. Peacejam is a community of passionate, kind beings eager to make positive change. This organization creates a safe space to learn about sustainable change, building up the community, and even your own self identity. Peacejam has shaped me into the person I am today.
I had an amazing time at this retreat! I learned so much and got to bring it back to our chapter in FL!
PeaceJam has been the foundation for my leadership skills and my social interactions! Without the knowledge this organization has provided, I would not be nearly as socially aware as I am today. I give so much credit to this organization for teaching me not only what it takes to be a good citizen but how to actually put it into practice and inspire others to do the same.
This organization literally changed my life. I decided to go back to school and change my career path because being a mentor in Peacejam showed me that my true passioned lied in helping people and being an advocate and change maker.
I love Peacejam because it create spaces for us to learn from Amaizing role models. In addition, since there are people from around the world I have been able to meet other young leaders with different perspectives based on where they live, their culture and other factors that encourage me to keep working on having a better world!
After seeing the PeaceJam team working with youth up close, I just had to get involved. The difference they provide in helping youth make a positive impact in their communities has been heart warming. Plus these same youth have the opportunity to be mentored by Nobel Laureates. Kudos to the team and the youth who help us to strive to reach 1 Billion Acts of Peace.
PeaceJam does a wonderful job of teaching youth to stand up and take control of their world. I recommend the curriculum for all ages, there's lots of wisdom from the laureates and the youth alike
I have been involved in PeaceJam in several roles: including advisor, volunteer, and regional director since 2003. I have witnessed the life-changing effects it has had on students. PeaceJam students learn to make real changes to the world around them and in doing so, transform themselves into leaders and change-makers.
My involvement with PeaceJam ranges from participant to coordinator and now alumnae. I've experienced incredible moments with the youth, college mentors and the Nobel Peace Laureates. PeaceJam gives youth the opportunity to use their voice to speak about issues they're passionate about and presents them with the opportunity to share their work with the Laureate. Every student, volunteer, teacher and overall promoter of peace will find their home in PeaceJam.
While a student at Pine View School, I joined PeaceJam; it proved to be quite the formative experience! I found loving community with like-minded, compassionate students eager to learn how to leverage our privilege to help those in need.
The yearly southeast conferences at FSU were enriching beyond words. I'll never forget talks from Oscar Arias (who demilitarized Costa Rica as their former president) or Jody Williams (who has dedicated her life to removing landmines from former war zones).
At the 2012 conference, I participated in Farm Share, a Miami-based non-profit that rescues produce and redistributes to communities. I was inspired to bring Farm Share to my hometown and started a bi-yearly tradition of food giveaways!
I now tackle food security from a systems perspective as a computer scientist; PeaceJam has thus played a huge role in guiding me towards this fulfilling career path :)
Peace Jam has been such a wonderful organization for our students to be a part of. It has helped them get involved and become change makers in their community. It has helped them become active leaders and genuinely desire to make positive changes that will enhance the lives of others.
Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of attending various PeaceJam events as a chaperone with Pine View School and the consistently fabulous group of young people that are involved with this organization. For anyone who hasn’t experienced a PeaceJam conference firsthand, it’s hard to imagine the overwhelming sense of hope and inspiration that comes from sitting in an audience full of so many bright-minded young leaders, mentors, and educators which come together as a family, by giving back to community. Given the current state of the world and complex challenges presented in 2020, the need for programs like Peace Jam that support, as Rep. John Lewis reminds us, “good trouble, necessary trouble” is more critical now than ever. Through concerted efforts to cultivate a culture of kindness, respect, and radical empathy among students already working for a better tomorrow, PeaceJam IS changing the world.
I was introduced to PeaceJam in 2009 and it truly changed my life! A few of us brought PeaceJam to our high school, and then had the chance to attend the PJ SouthEast conference in 2010 and 2011. From there, I got connected to being a mentor in college and teaching the curriculum in an elementary school. I could not express more gratitude for the learning and skills PeaceJam taught me.
An excellent organization doing good and important work! I've worked directly with PeaceJam Southeast and PeaceJam Monaco for several years, and grown much as a professional and an individual throughout these experiences. I had the pleasure of seeing the life-changing service firsthand as both a volunteer mentor and as Development Chair and later President of PeaceJam Southeast's Student Leadership Council at Florida State University, as well as a summer volunteer staff position with PeaceJam Monaco. The connection between the Nobel Peace Laureates and the diverse group of youth at each conference and event is incredible, and fosters a tangible growth in leadership and service. With its focus on youth empowerment and sustainable change at local, national, and international levels, the PeaceJam Foundation makes a real difference!
This is a fantastic organization that has made a huge difference by engaging the youth around the world to follow the example of Nobel Peace Laureates. The organization has made a big difference for our family by teaching my 13 year old son leadership skills and exposing him to the global community and the challenges the world faces today. PeaceJam's educational and learning engagement programs have inspired our family to being better citizens and human beings.
I was a volunteer teacher that attend a Peace Jam Conference. It was 2 days of hanging with students that were caring problem solvers. I witnessed people treating each other with respect, love, and serious debate. This program is very active at the school where I teach. I have included their Global Call to Action Project as my End of Year Project for years. I teach history and cannot think of a better way to have my students bring together what they have learned all year and how we can take that to solve 21st Century global issues. Peace Jam events and programs consistently give me hope for the future!
As an international educator and diversity activist, I have served as a chaperone to high school students who attended PeaceJam regional conferences in Florida. These experiences with the students always left me exhilarated and optimistic about the future!
In addition to meeting Nobel Peace Prize winners, the students shared their creativity and innovations in making their local communities better. The program not only gives them a positive sense of self and what they are capable of achieving, but also develops leadership skills. The PeaceJam curricular materials offer nonviolent methods of change and inspires young people to advocate for social justice, not only locally and nationally but also internationally.
I highly recommend PeaceJam to all students and school administrators.
I’ve been involved with PeaceJam for a few years now, and I’ve learned so much about creating sustainable change, identity, and building community. PeaceJam has been so integral in shaping me into the person I am today, and I’m so proud of the work they continue to do.
I have worked with PeaceJam since I was in middle school, when I was first exposed to a PeaceJam program focused on human rights across the world. Following that exposure to the organization, PeaceJam has directly impacted many of the best decisions of my life. I became a PeaceJam Ambassador in high school, met multiple Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and went on to attend a university that had a PeaceJam program as well. I have learned volumes from this organization and its guiding philosophy. I can attribute much of who I am to PeaceJam, and I hope more youth continue to get involved with it moving forward!
This org helped me choose my college major, boosted my self confidence, gave me friends for life, & cemented my dedication to service. PeaceJam has a powerful impact on all the youth it touches. It empowers them, teaches them, and connects them with the rest of the world. I truly feel like I am a better person by participating in their programming. No other organization I can think of provides participants and communities with such opportunities.
This foundation made a tremendous impact on me as a young adult. I was first introduced to PeaceJam in my first year of high school and had the opportunity to attend the PeaceJam Southeast annual conference all four years. I appreciate how year after year -- that although the family groups, laureate, service projects, and workshops may change -- the spirit, enthusiasm, and engaging talks have remained constant. The relationships developed, learnings gained, and stories heard were so incredibly valuable, and this foundation really spurred my love for service learning and education, particularly in ending poverty and demanding social justice and human rights for all. I will never forget the lessons and invaluable experiences I have gained from PeaceJam!
PeaceJam empowers our young up and coming peace makers and leaders throughout the global community to take action. In a world where we are seeing more talk and less action, PeaceJam empowers and educates on how to create actionable steps to make a difference.
I have been devoted to PeaceJam for over 15 years, since I first volunteered to be their legal counsel. I have been fortunate to travel the world with the PeaceJam team and many of the Nobel laureates on our Board, and have been personally humbled and inspired by their work with thousands of young people who have clearly chosen to follow the Path of Peace blazed by the laureates in their own lives, in their communities, and in the world around them. It is the most hopeful and positive organization that I can imagine!
My wife and I have experienced the results of the commitment to peace that Peace Jam
has provided to the youths around the world. How wonderful it is to know that there is a Peace Jam that has dedicated to the concept that there can be peace on this delicate planet.
We have been present here in Denver at the occasions of Nobel Laureates speaking of the
challenges of peace. Being present at Red Rocks Community College when young students
and our grandson celebrated with the carrying and marching flags of countries around the world that Peace Jam has touched.
We must celebrate the youth around the world. They are the hope for a lasting peace.
Stanley and Karen Brown
I was introduced to the PeaceJam Foundation in 2016. I have had wonderful experiences within the foundation. I have attended a number of events, in Florida, Colorado and Washington DC. Additionally, I am very passionate about strategizing new ways to raise the number of student engagement with this educational platform In the US, nationwide. It has been humbling experience working together with the leaders of the PeaceJam Foundation and Billion Acts of Peace. I am truly honored. It is very exciting to learn more and more each day about the amazing service projects and education focusing on the key issues that are plaguing our society. I love that PeaceJam inspires young people to live in their truth and have a voice with compassion and the ability to communicate, maturely, about the key issues of their choice. I believe that every school should have a PeaceJam program, especially during these unprecedented times. It is time to direct our youth to assist the unfolding of a brighter future. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Much gratitude.
I worked here briefly in 2018. The founders, directors and managers of the organization did not demonstrate character, personal practices, or passion congruent with PeaceJam's mission. I seriously question their financial integrity and business ethics. The office in Arvada is poorly managed and has a history of employing children of donors who aren't qualified for the position, appointing relatives with no experience or qualifications as salaried directors, not adhering to standard HR practices, and lacks financial transparency. They have not updated, improved or changed their material in a long time. They throw an annual formal gala at great expense that is poorly planned and managed, has a very poor turn out and donations are negligible. The Nobel laureates on their board are on the boards of many nonprofits. They charge a hefty fee for all of the events they attend and do not contribute anything on a regular basis to the organization or the mission. Their goal is to promote peace and awareness of individuals who can make a difference. I never got a good explanation or was able to understand clearly what they actually do other than fundraise and host speaking engagements for the Nobel laureates who get paid handsomely.
My son first became involved with Peacejam when he was in high school. When he went to college in Michigan he was part of the peacejam club on campus and volunteered with the Great Lakes affiliate. He applied and got an internship with peacejam in Arvada during his sophmere year in college. Now, he works for peacejam. I see first hand how this great organization develops great leaders and how the Nobel laureates inspire this next generation. Thank you peacejam.
I first met Dawn and Ivan in 2003/2004. I was so impressed and taken with their humility and sincerity in serving their kids, that i consider PeaceJam to be in the rarest of leagues. This organization walks their talk. They are the real deal. And they are changing kids lives - and they are inspiring hope and positive change in the communities they serve.
I have been involved in PeaceJam program for the last 10 years. I was in high school when I first took part in the program and I can say I am today a much better human being because of it. Having Nobel Peace Laureates as your mentor and role model has been an amazing experience.Whenever I have attended PeaceJam Conferences and been part of a service project - I get a sense of belonging to a community with everyone wiling to make this world a better place, listening to other youth talk about their daily inspiration and creating service projects to create a better community and a world has been truly satisfying and gratifying gift. I am forever thankful to what PeaceJam has brought in my life - Hope, love,inspiration,action and compassion.