Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

Alumni Spotlight: Izabelle Cool

To prepare myself for the future, I plan to go to college and get a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. This major includes the studies of women, peace, Black culture, and other cultures. I plan to go to the Peace Corps for their 2 year program and teach English in another country. From there I plan to apply for a job at the United Nations. If not that, I would love to work for a non-profit or start my own homeless shelter.

My aspirations for doing this came from Peacebuilders Camp. I grew up fighting for others’ rights at Cherith Brook Catholic Worker House in Kansas City, Missouri, where we protested unjust things such as wrongful arrests and nuclear bomb-making in Kansas City. We also hosted showers 3 days a week for the homeless and provided them with food, love, showers and new clothes. Peacebuilders Camp helped me develop more in this area because I learned what human rights are, and that’s what made me want to work for the U.N. I want to make a difference in others’ lives, especially those who don’t have a voice, such as people who are behind bars because they are getting deported. They have the right to asylum (Article 14 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Or people who are oppressed despite the fact everyone is equal (Article 1). Or people who feel like their problems don’t matter.

A human right that has applied to my life for the past 4 years is that everyone has the right to adequate living situations (Article 25). I have been helping the Nehemiah Project in repairing homes for free for people who can’t afford to fix them up for themselves. I enjoy doing this because I know afterwords that no matter what kind of job we have done they are satisfied with it and know their home is in better shape than before. I have painted houses, fixed water leaks, repaired woodpecker holes, replaced windows, and built wheelchair ramps. After every job we see the homeowners’ smiles and we know they feel their lives are valuable and meaningful to others.

I live knowing that maybe I can make a difference and that’s why I’ll continue trying for the rest of my life. I thank Peacebuilders, Marilyn, Jonah, and Erica for giving me knowledge that will forever help me do my part to change the world and the lives of others.

Izabelle is 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.

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