SYRACUSE, NEW YORK | Seeds of Peace and Say Yes To Education brought over 50 Seeds and potential Seeds together to discuss ideas for future initiatives in their community.
Sarah Brajtbord, Seeds of Peace Director of American Programs, is excited about the possibilities for Syracuse programs.
“All the right pieces are in place,” Brajtbord said. “There’s a real critical mass of Seeds and a desire to create change.”
The seminar was a chance for Brajtbord and other Syracuse program leaders to reunite the Seeds, recruit potential Seeds, and kick off the year in programming.
Seeds met in groups according to the high school they attend and brainstormed ways to address key issues in their schools.
“We decided that we want to form a dialogue group to break down the barriers between native-born students and immigrant students and attempt to stop the bullying that some Seeds said they have encountered,” said Ella, a Seed from 2012.
Each of the schools that Seeds of Peace and Say Yes to Education works with has an adult ally—an educator committed to supporting their activities. Throughout discussions, each adult ally helped Seeds locate specific issues in their school that need to be addressed.
Seeds are also focusing their attention outside of school, on their communities at large.
“We also want to have a Seeds Clean-Up day where Nottingham Seeds, old and new, clean up the school and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Ella.
These kinds of community-oriented projects will benefit from the guidance of Derrick Dorsey. Dorsey, who brought the Syracuse Seeds to camp this summer, runs the InterFaith Works’ Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism Program.
For Syracuse Seeds, the motivation and the ideas are in place. The next step is making it happen. At the end of a long brainstorming session, Brajtbord asked everyone to raise their hand if they believe they can make their ideas happen. Most of the room raised their hands.
“They realized that they have the resources, and now the ideas, to really make a difference in their schools and communities and bring the lessons they learned at Seeds to their lives back home,” Brajtbord said.