Peace Through Sport (PTS) is an eight-week program generously funded by the US Embassy in Lebanon designed to connect youth in Lebanon and the United States to learn values such as respect for diversity, communication, and problem-solving. During the eight-week session, students engage in four virtual calls, connect through WhatsApp, hear from guest speakers, and will create/implement a service project to benefit their local communities.
Session 5 Guest Speakers
Jayde Kelly inspired 100 students in the very first virtual call of the Peace Through Sport Program (PTS) with her story of receiving a heart transplant and training to run her first 5K with her new heart. On October 22, 2022, almost a year later, Jayde spoke to a new group of PTS participants. She shared a message of hope, gratitude, perseverance, and appreciation for where her life has taken her. Jayde successfully completed her 5K and has worked towards her first half-marathon. In addition, Jayde has become very involved in giving back to her community through her love of baking and running. The participants were impacted by her emotionally uplifting message of how challenges can help us all see what truly matters. Jayde lives her life with gratitude and a purpose of giving back to all who have and continue to support her.
The second guest speaker for the 5th session of PTS was Chris Sieverts, an avid snowboarder, surfer, and skateboarder. Chris shared his story, and how he found a sense of freedom through skateboarding. Chris struggled in school and found that skateboarding was an outlet to relieve stress because it was such an accessible sport. Later in life, Chris took to surfing and snowboarding. He shared how his passion for the sports led to other opportunities including judging in national competitions. The PTS participants were impacted by the message of following your passions and finding accessible outlets that give you joy and peace. Chris is now a physical education teacher who positively impacts young children in Maryland.
Session 5 Project Impact
During the eight-week session, more than 100 participants created and implemented service-learning projects that benefited more than 3000 people in Lebanon and the United States. Both projects were developed to establish ongoing impact even after the PTS program ends.
The United States
Participants from The Sheppard Pratt Residential School created two projects to benefit their community. The first project, Movement Motivators, focused on mental health and well-being through yoga classes and running. Participants were inspired by the two guest speakers and worked to create accessible outlets for stress reduction and better health. Ms. Shaw, the students' teacher, now runs with the students and their hope is that the group continues to grow. The second project, City Collaborators, addressed a need in their local community of Baltimore. The homeless population in the city is quite an issue, and with the weather getting colder, the students created 100 food packages and provided clothing packages for men and women to keep them safe and fed during these cold months. These projects have impacted the population of 1200 at the school as well as the 100+ homeless people receiving the packages.
Participants from Akkar implemented a two-part project within their community called Love Injection. The first project benefited a local medical center by providing much needed supplies. The center serves 2000-3000 people per month, and new beds and supplies were greatly needed. The second project benefited young children with disabilities. The goal was to create a fun day for young children at the center and to make them feel safe and good about themselves. The PTS participants served as positive role models to the young children at the disability center.
If you are interested in participating in the next session of Peace Through Sport starting in January 2023, please apply using this link or contact Anne Wooleyhand, Educational Programs Director for MLI at firstname.lastname@example.org.