The 2005 6th Annual Peacemakers Prizes
provided $750 for Franklin County, Massachusetts students. Prizes included
framed certificates, flowers, journals, and letters of encouragement to
schools to recognize these young leaders in our communities, provided
by the Franklin County Interfaith Council and Traprock Peace Center. The
Awards Ceremony is cosponsored by Greenfield Public Schools at the Greenfield
High School cafeteria. Students who received less than $100 are eligible
for prizes in subsequent years and all are encouraged to attend an be
recognized again. Anyone can nominate a student in grades 9th - 12th by
writing a one-page letter in April. Media stories below.
Media Stories on 2005 Peacemaker Prizes
WGGB TV 40, Springfield, MA
High school students get Peace Prizes
GREENFIELD, MA (ABC40)— 11 Franklin County high school students received the 6th annual "Peace Maker's" prize.
The Interfaith Council of Franklin County and the Traprock Peace Center presented cash awards for the work of these young people.
The students were recognized for working projects and activities for peace or justice, constructive problem solving, and speaking up for equal rights.
Students are nominated for the award by someone who writes a 1 page letter about their peace-making efforts.
May 15, 2005
May 16, 2005
Teens honored for peace-making
By KAREN P. CHYNOWETH
GREENFIELD - Alexander Manshel of Deerfield Academy said he doesn't feel right calling what he does community service.
Every Friday, the 17-year-old high school senior hangs out with a 7-year-old boy named Justin and gives him life lessons about solving problems without fighting and about how important it is to tell the truth. Manshel, who is from Connecticut, enjoys hanging out with the boy, who he was paired with through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, so much that he can't call it community service.
Manshel's work with Justin put him in the category of 10 other Franklin County teens commended by the Franklin County Interfaith Council and The Traprock Peace Center of Deerfield for their work promoting peace globally and locally at the sixth annual Peace Makers Prize award ceremony.
Sue Bowman, president of the Franklin County Interfaith Council, said the awards stemmed from a group of people talking about what is wrong with the world and deciding to look instead at what is right.
"What can we do to encourage students who contribute to peace in the world?" Bowman said she and her friends asked. The Peace Makers award was the answer.
Caitlin Macleod-Bluver and Julia Beebe, sophomores at the Mohawk Regional High School, were nominated for the award for promoting awareness about the genocide crisis in Sudan. The two 16-year-olds passed around a petition and sent letters to state representatives and the president to encourage the United States to step in and help stop the mass killing of men and raping of the women in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
Macleod-Bluver said she had never heard of what is happening until January when she watched "Hotel Rowanda," a movie about the 1994 genocide in Rowanda, which inspired her to read news articles online about other wars in Africa. She and Beebe said they were surprised at how few students at their school knew about what is going on, though they themselves only found out recently.
"When we asked them if they knew what was going on, one kid responded, 'Is genocide a disease?'" Macleod-Bluver said.
Four students where nominated for their work as peer mediators. They were Gregory Dunbar, 17, of Ralph C. Mahar Regional School, Rosa Sanchez-Santiago, 17, of Greenfield High School and Krystin Hannum, 18, and Christopher Pereira, 18, of Frontier Regional High School.
Dunbar's mother, Sue Dunbar, said she thought her son might become a judge one day because even as early as second grade, he was already pulling fighting kids apart and settling arguments.
Sarah Dunton, the peer mediator councilor at Greenfield High, said Sanchez-Santiago understands conflict like no other mediator and because of that she isn't afraid to take on the hard cases.
Hannum and Pereira were nominated for turning the Peer Mediation Program into a student-run program instead of one run by adults and for promoting diversity in a school that they said is not diverse enough.
Bryan Holt, 18, of Athol, who graduated from Springfield High School of Science and Technology, was nominated for working with the Boys to Men Program, which helps young boys break away from what it considers stereotypical attitudes of competitiveness and aggressiveness.
Jessie McMillan, 13, was nominated for volunteering with the Greenfield Energy Park and Tanishia Heath and Jasmine Ward were nominated for working with the Franklin County Community Action Corporation youth self-esteem building program Girls 'N Power.