Catching up with the Diversity and Student for Change Council at Bob Edwards Junior High School, 2011 Peace Medal recipient

The Diversity and Student for Change Council was the recipient of the 2011 Community Youth Peace Medal award. The Diversity Council began when teachers and students identified negative issues in their school and community, which centred on a lack of inclusion and respect for diversity. The Diversity Council is run by students, and raises funds and awareness for a variety of justice causes. As active and responsible citizens, the students are role models for their school’s student body and the rest of their community. Watch this video to learn more about the work that the Diversity Council does to create peace.

Sophia Shah, one of the members of the Diversity Council, reflected on her experience after receiving the Peace Medal. “It meant a lot to me to know that someone out there was appreciating the work we did and took the time to nominate our Council,” says Sophia. “Though an award or medal doesn’t determine your deed and the intentions for it, being a Peace Medal recipient sure made me feel like our work was well worth it.”

After receiving the award, the work that the Diversity Council completed did not slow, and became an inspiration for the Council to keep working at achieving their goals.

Sophia says that the Peace Medal was a motivation for herself and the entire Council, to continue to make a difference. “Seeing our Council in the newspaper was amazing. Every time I look at the article clipping I cut and kept from the Calgary Herald, I feel even more inspired to make a difference. My dream isn’t entirely to be known for the difference I ever make, it’s just to do something for the world and have the feeling of satisfaction within me.”

Sophia also says that her work with peacemaking has impacted her view of the world. “I feel a lot more passionate for the world. I’m more optimistic for what I will be able to achieve in life. I’m more aware of my surroundings, my community, the people around me, and events that affect the whole world.”

If know of an individual or group like the Diversity and Student for Change Council who helps to build peace in their community, nominate them for a 2013 YMCA Calgary Peace Medal!