Hayden High School teacher taking sabbatical for peace
May 30, 2017
A Hayden High School teacher is taking her passion for peacemaking to a new level, and she gives all the credit to her students.
Kendra DeMicco, who teaches English and theater, got the approval from Principal Gina Zabel to take a year-long sabbatical so she can focus on her humanitarian efforts full time. DeMicco leaves for Colombia on June 15.
Her journey will then take her to Turkey, where she has previously visited to support the Syrian people. The trip then takes her to Iraq.
DeMicco helped found the Leaders 4 Peace, or BL4P, humanitarian group.
The goal of BL4P is to reach out to young leaders in conflict regions around the world and encourage them to build peace through friendship, reconciliation and service.
"It's just about rallying young people to make peace in their own communities," DeMicco said.
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BL4P held its first seven-day Peace Camp last summer in southeastern turkey. It was attended by 75 Turks, Syrians, Armenians, Iraqis and North Americans.
DeMicco's current role with BL4P is to develop curriculum and programming for Peace Camps.
"What I think is most powerful about this story is how my students in Hayden have had an impact on this project, in fact, what moves me so deeply is that these students, in so many ways, inspired the foundation of what we are working for with BL4P," DeMicco said.
In 2015, 12 of DeMicco's students enrolled in the Project Justice class. The students chose to raise money for refugee children in Turkey, who fled from a civil war in neighboring Syria.
"Through their passion and excitement for the Project Justice class in 2015, raising awareness and money for Syrian refugees, these students showed me how powerful the collective energy a group of passionate young people can be when harnessed and channeled into something positive," DeMicco said.
BL4P relies entirely on donations for funding.
DeMicco is trying to raise $10,000 to help pay for her expenses. The money will also allow Syrians to attend the Peace Camps.
DeMicco will host an informational presentation and fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Christian Center. The event is free with donations accepted. Mediterranean food is being provided by Skull Creek Greek.
More information about BL4P can be found at BL4P.com.
DeMicco can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.