As part of their coursework in the Global Social Issues class, four groups of Dominion students were awarded mini-grants of $250 to implement action plans to solve injustices in their community as part of the Peace First Challenge. The Peace First Challenge is a global call-to-action to all young people to join a community of peacemakers dedicated to finding compassionate solutions to the world’s problems. Students worked in four groups to address issues they had explored in conjunction with the Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit.
Recognizing inequalities between students that can afford expensive test preparation courses and those that cannot, students implemented a plan to address this injustice by collecting used test-prep books and utilizing their mini-grant to purchase new SAT review books for AVID classes. Emily Caudill, David Lane, Adam Poindexter, and Owen Donahue shared their experiences and tips for preparing for the SAT and the demands of high school with the 9th and 10th grade AVID classes.As a follow up to the discussions and activities during the international summit to explore environmental issues, Nathan Chong and Jack Harrington led the international delegates in planting a tree in the Dominion courtyard as a symbolic gesture in the importance of addressing deforestation.The divisive political climate of this year led another group to engage over 100 of their peers in having “lunch with an other” on May 25th. Mini-grants funds were utilized to supplement donations to treat students with Chik-fil-A as they engaged in meaningful conversations with someone new during lunch. Many thanks to Brian Rodriguez, Anika Maan, Kaitlyn Nelson, Martha Ordonez-Salvatierra, Alex Pace, and Lavinia Remy for facilitating for their peers.Alarmed by the Syrian refugee crisis, Koroush Bana-Khojaste, Amir Azadniv, Emily Baires, Alexis Bradley, and Rhea Simon researched ways they could help those who are displaced by conflict. In cooperation with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, students held a drive and utilized mini-grant funds to purchase items needed by refugees resettled locally.Many thanks to the people at Peace First, particularly Raul Caceres, for their support throughout this project.