Despite a persistent drizzle, about 200 local high school students, staff and parents took to the streets to promote peace Saturday. Summit Up, an all-day event planned by students of Rancocas Valley Regional High School, started with a peace rally. Groups departed from locations in each of the school's five sending districts -- Mount Holly, Eastampton, Westampton, Hainesport and Lumberton. The event's keynote speaker was the Rev. Vernon C. King, nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Said Michelle Caffrey, a junior from Westhampten "To hear from Martin Luther King's nephew was just amazing. That was a real moving experience."
Other fresh young voices sounded just as encouraging. eleventh-grader Kelly Behrend of Eastampton, who started Students Taking Action and Responsibility Today (ST.A.R.T.) the group behind yesterday's event said, "We want to promote peace. We don't want that to be confused with anti-war. We're not anti-anything. We try to have a positive outlook."
To that I say "Bravo young sister!"
With help from Tom Braddock, who teaches a popular class on the history of nonviolence and its major figures like King and Mahatma Gandhi, the roughly 100 students in S.T.A.R.T. raised about $15,000 to put on the free event.Reading about these kids--and their fresh perspective--is encouraging, to say the least.
"I think this has a lot of potential to become bigger, maybe in the next couple of years," said senior Danielle Firth of Lumberton.
Raising a hand in a peace sign, soon-to-be NJ-3 voter Steven Carty of Mount Holly marches toward Rancocas Valley Regional High School for a peace summit.
(photo credit: MARCIN SZCZEPANSKI/Courier-Post)
Crossposted at Bluejersey