Traverse City High School Students Help Refugee Kids Find Local Foster Homes

Young Peacebuilders Club is a new club popping up in local middle schools, Montessori and high schools.

Students learn to be peace builders in their community and around the world through projects.

9&10’s Megan Woods has details on one of the newest projects in Traverse City.

“These kids are our age if we weren’t lucky these kids could have been us.”

A compassionate mindset in Traverse City West Senior High School’s Young Peacebuilders Club.

Junior Grace Martin says, “When I first heard that Young Peacebuilders was coming to Northern Michigan I was super excited because in Model U.N. we talk about these resolutions but we don’t ever get to do anything and so this was our way to actually make an impact and do the things that we say we will.”

In just two months the students have committed to help more than 10 refugee foster kids pre-approved to come to Traverse City find their new home.

Founder of Young Peacebuilders, Dr. Michael McGill says, “Some of the things that they’ve done is started a social media campaign to raise awareness they’ve also have been active participants in helping found a local network to support immigrants and refugees.” McGill also mentions they’ve spoke at schools and hospitals to talk to doctors and nurses.

Jamie Staley, the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor and Domestic Foster Care Licensing Specialist at Bethany Christian Services is working closely with the high school club. “A lot of these kids are the same age as a lot of the refugees that we’re trying to welcome into the community and for us to be able to say your peers the people you’re going to be in school with you and your age are going to be overwhelming welcoming to you is really a fantastic thing.”

And for the students, the club and this project are more than just a chance to build peace.

Grace Martin says, “As a teenager you’re told you’re so small you can’t really make an impact but this is connecting us to many different parts of the world and it’s telling us that if you try hard enough and you’re motivated you can make an impact on this world.”

Young Peacebuilders Club is also at Kalkaska Middle School and Children’s House Montessori in Traverse City. Each club is working on multiple projects, like working with Child and Family Services and the local homeless population.

They want to continue growing in Northern Michigan schools, but are looking for volunteers and mentors to do so.

For more information on Young Peacebuilders click here.

Click here for more information on Bethany Christian Services click here

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