From Douglas County School District News:
On November 17, Ponderosa High School hosted Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum, who was in Denver to honor the Ponderosa PeaceJam Club for winning the first PeaceJam Hero Award.
After meeting with school administrators and PeaceJam Club members, Menchú Tum spoke at an all-school assembly where she congratulated the PeaceJam members on their efforts. “PeaceJam is very inspirational because two things are taught in PeaceJam,” said Menchú Tum through a translator, “PeaceJam helps improve our academics and our grades, but PeaceJam also helps teach us about the school of life. The school of life teaches us what we can do with our hands, with our hearts and with our lives. You all have demostrated a model that is going to serve many other youth groups in the world. I am very proud of all of you. I am proud of the work you’ve done. I am very impressed with what you’ve been able to accomplish here at Ponderosa.”
Rigoberta Menchú Tum grew up in a poor rural area of Guatamala in a family of Quiche Maya. After losing her mother, father and brother during the country’s long-running civil war, Menchú Tum became an activist against human rights violations, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.
“The school of life is a constant challenge. But these challenges we face in our lives are not reason to stay back, but on the contrary, are an opportunity to move forward,” says Menchú Tum. “Wherever you go in life, get your group together and do something. Teach other young people. If we were to gather a million young people that care for mother earth, we’ve done something very successful. Young people need to say: Here we are. We are here to stand for the health of our Mother Earth.”
Menchú Tum was in Denver to speak at the PeaceJam Inaugural Hero Awards Luncheon, which took place on November 18. Ponderosa High School’s PeaceJam Club are the first recipients of the Global Call to Action award, which encourages youth of all ages from across the globe to submit videos or written pieces on their Global Call to Action projects that capture their group’s impact and show the world what they have done to create positive change. The daylong visit from Menchú Tum was the grand prize for Ponderosa PeaceJam. In addition, they will receive expert coaching from award sponsor the Pearson Foundation on how to create a professional-style video of their project and will work with the students to create a film documenting their visit with Menchú Tum and their award reception.
To view Ponderosa PeaceJam's winning video, please see the following post.