PeaceJam looks ahead to 2012, Mayan style
Kate Power is one of the few people who can say that her job is "never boring."
Bradlee Arendt Rigoberta Menchu Tum.
Power works at PeaceJam, the Arvada-based nonprofit that collaborates with Nobel Peace Prize winners to teach kids how to foster peace around the world.
"The kids really value that personal connection," she says. "They're awestruck."
Power spends her days writing grants, organizing events and working with local youth. "It's been really rewarding," the 24-year-old says, adding that the program "really makes a difference" in the lives of its young beneficiaries. After a special visit from one Nobel Laureate, she recalls, the students of Foster Elementary School worked to eliminate the use of Styrofoam throughout the Jefferson County Public School District. "For them, it's like meeting a movie star," she says. "It just brings everything they've been learning home."
Power and her PeaceJam colleagues are hoping that the organization's next event, coming up on July 8, will be educational for an even wider audience. "2012 Revealed" should be a unique opportunity to learn about the truths and myths behind the Mayan prediction surrounding that date, and offer ideas on how to be a decisive leader during times of uncertainty -- particularly since Rigoberta Menchu Tum, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, and Mayan spiritual teachers will lead the discussion.
Power concedes that adults aren't "as easily starstruck as kids," tending to be more skeptical of optimistic visions of world peace and global synergy. Still, she says, "no matter how much you know or think you know, meeting a Nobel Prize winner is an eye-opening experience."
Power can attest to this from personal experience, since she recently met 1996 Nobel Prize winner José Ramos-Horta, which was "incredibly moving," she says. "It's a really cool thing to see someone be inspired or to, yourself, become inspired by another human being."