After presenting their service projects to a panel of judges at the PeaceJam Southeast conference, Pine View’s PeaceJam club was awarded the Global Call to Action Heroes Award, the grand prize of the conference, for their Global Call to Action service project. Their project, dubbed “Service Slam”, was a one–day juggernaut of service events orchestrated with several other organizations in the area. The judges’ decisions were based on the presentations of the projects and their level of positive impact on the community.
The club was awarded $500 from the Northside Rotary Club of Tallahassee, which club member Amanda Moyer says will go right back into the community. “[The money] will go toward the club creating the Service Slam again, and making the impact larger and having more people.” Moyer said.
There is a Service Slam hosted by PeaceJam Southeast in Tallahassee each year, which every chapter of PeaceJam is invited to. Pine View PeaceJam found however, that many students in Southern Florida could not travel all the way to Tallahassee to participate. The club hoped that hosting a Service Slam in Sarasota would encourage more PeaceJam members and students interested in service learning to participate closer to home.
Pine View PeaceJam’s Service Slam included keynote speakers from Daughters For Life, an organization that grants scholarships to young Middle Eastern women, and a variety of workshops about different types of community service in Sarasota. Among the organizations were Community Youth Development, MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and Children First. Pine View PeaceJam ended the day by packing over 35,000 meals with Meals for Hope, a Fort Myers–based organization that distributes foodstuffs to food banks in Charlotte and Sarasota County.
The conference was held at Florida State University from April 10 through 12, with Pine View taking about 30 students. The students had the opportunity to meet with Nobel Prize laureate Adolfo Esquivel Perez , an artist, Argentinian activist in the 80s and former prisoner of war. Club member Ernesto Rendon was given the chance to speak with Perez one–on–one, and said, “It was eye opening because he emphasized the importance of humanizing everyone; everyone has that choice to be the best or the worst that they can be, and in the name of equality, peace, and freedom, we should all choose to never stop bettering ourselves and our communities.”
Pine View’s PeaceJam club was founded in 2009, and their goals are unchanged to this day: to have the students learn and grow from each other through community-oriented projects. If you are interested in joining, contact club sponsor Bridgid Shannon or a club member to get involved.