Peace From the Eyes of Breea Vest, Summer Intern

Jul19

When I think of peace, I think of everyone in a community working together.  One person can make a change, but together as a team, we can make a world of a change.

I chose to work with the Peace Learning Center because of all the great things I heard about them. The Peace Learning Center is definitely one of the kind. During one of my first few events here, I realized the large impact I could have on a single child’s life in such a short amount of time. When a child feels comfortable in a setting like the Peace Learning Center, it’s incredible how much they can open up to the group. On my first day at the Peace learning Center I was playing a game with a group who had just arrived, and something just clicked between a little girl and I. She was super shy at first, but between our fun interactions and my peace training, she felt I was someone she could trust and she was by my side the whole day. At the end of the day she gave me the warmest, sweetest hug before she left.

The one-on-one experience I had with this one child reminded how much of a change a single person can make. When I think of the great impact I had on this girl, I think of the even bigger impact our group has on all of the groups coming through our camps throughout the summer. It reminds me of how so much is possible, how so much peace is achievable, and how big of an impact we can all make by just trying.



BreeaBreea is an incoming Junior at Indianapolis University Purdue University in downtown Indianapolis. She is studying Health Science with a minor in health education. Breea hopes to be able to work with children in her career and focus on the importance of personal health and a positive community. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree she has plans to attend graduate school and to become a Certified Occupational Therapist and to work with children who have been involved in traumatic situations. Breea is thankful for the opportunity the Peace Learning Center has provided her and she hopes to continue building her networking as the Summer comes to an end.

Motivational Monday

Jul18

Many times, people get too caught up in trying to save everyone by donating to as many organizations as possible or volunteering every chance they get.  This is admirable, no doubt, but people often become discouraged by the lack of results.  On larger scales, like world hunger, it’s improbable to see an immediate change.

It’s easy to forget it’s not about how big the impact you make is, but it’s about the people you impact.  It’s not a matter of quantity.  Look at the small circle of people  you interact with.  Maybe they are not in a severe conditions, but you still inspire those around you.  Whether you know it or not, you are probably looked up to.  Changing the world can be as simple as leading by example for the person standing beside you.  Changing the world can be as simple as going out of your way to hold the door for the person in front of you.  Changing the world can be as simple as feeding good energy into a conversation currently controlled by anger.

Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  He wanted peaceful protests, not violence; he exemplified that to the very end.

When we lead by example, we end up putting a little good back into the world at the same time.  In my own heart, I want to help people, I want people to know they are loved, I want people to know they are not alone.  I don’t mind going out of my way to do this.  In life, we are all on the same team.  We are all human; there is no reason for us to go it alone.  The other day I was swooping some fast food, and I saw a guy standing on the median on Michigan Road.  I snagged an extra meal, ran it out to him then headed off downtown.  Later that week while at my retail job, a man came in.  He said, “I recognize you, you gave a stranger food earlier this week, didn’t you?”   I nodded, and he replied, “Thank you.  Thank you for reminding of the good, and reminding me a little goes a long way. I saw your kindness and passed it on.  You inspired me.”

I like to think I’m an invisible little elf when I do little things for others.  This man acknowledging my actions brought to my attention how much our kind acts–even small ones–can quickly start a domino effect.  Be an example, give a little love to those around you, inspire yourself and others.  Together, one by one, we can all inject a lot of love and kindness into our world.

Motivational Monday

Jun20

Dignity is another one of the values we hold at Peace Learning Center. Again, turning to Merriam-Webster for a definition, it reads, “the quality of being worthy of honor or respect.”  Like respect, we can decide to give ourselves our own dignity.   We decide we are worthwhile, we decide we are worth honor, we decide we are worth respect.  Allowing yourself dignity leads to knowing you are worth the world.  Every person on this earth deserves to think they are the bees knees.  It’s important to always be your own cheerleader because you’re worth it all.

I think dignity goes along with self-love.  Look around, there’s a million ways to “improve” your looks. There’s a website for every which way to better yourself, but in all these ways, you are who you are.  At the end of the day, it’s you and yourself.  Regardless of what you look like, or how you act, you should be happy with yourself.  I know I’m not the funniest person in the world, but I think my jokes are great.  I’ll provide my own laughter after a punchline. Sometimes I would not mind being a few inches taller, but I also dig my shortness for group photos. At the end of the day, I find peace with myself and I love myself.

I say self-love, but I don’t mean to become a narcissist and declare yourself higher than anyone else.  When you learn to love yourself and realize your worth, it shows.  When you allow your light to shine, people see it.  People see you respecting yourself, and when you see the respect someone demands for themselves, they get it.  Hold tight to your dignity, everyone deserves it, everyone starts with it.  Do not lose it, do not rob it from someone else, and do not give it up.

From the Intern: Orlando

Jun14

This past weekend, one that should have been full of love and celebration, was quickly brought to an end as we lost the lives of so many beautiful people.  Our hearts go out to each of the fifty families, who are suffering the loss of their loved ones.  Our hearts go out to the LGBTQ community around the world, who now question their safety in places they should feel welcome.  Our hearts go out to those who fear to be themselves.

In my heart there is anger for those doing harm to others.  I find it unbearable to think people can do these actions and still be at peace with themselves.  I know there are prayers, good thoughts and hopes across the world. But there is action to be taken as well. There is a change to be done.  I’ve learned the values of the Peace Learning Center, and I find it most appropriate that their goal is help the community, help the city and through progression, the world.  By establishing respect, dignity and embracing all differences, similarities and experiences peace may be achieved in our homes, our lives, our communities.

This tragedy that took too many lives and hurt too many people isn’t just an issue about gun control. It’s not just about the gunman and his race. It’s not just about any one thing because it is about many things affecting our world today. But, this incident is about the power of hatred. Hatred that was acted upon. Many think fighting this fire with more fire will end it, but it’ll only generate more bad energy.  To combat this unfortunate event, we cannot only sit and hope for things to get better.

It’s about making the first step towards change. It’s about giving the love and peace we hope to see in the world. It’s about leading by example, showing each other love and respect.  It’s about being so full of love and acceptance of each other, there’s no room for anything else. We come together in this time of loss, but we need to stay together, not only when there’s turmoil. We need to stand together in the good times, too. The stronger we can stand in the good, the less chance bad will even surface.

I hope to see the world so full of love, so full of kindness, so full of peace, the negative thoughts and actions will have no place to exist.  My heart is with every individual impacted by this event.

Motivational Monday

Jun13

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One of the values we hold at the Peace Learning Center is respect.

Respect is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “understanding that someone or something is important, and should be treated in an appropriate way.” When we respect ourselves, we decide we deserve to be treated well. We decide we deserve to be treated kindly. When we respect ourselves, we also acknowledge the way we would like be treated. Not everyone will give you the respect you deserve, but there’s nothing stopping you from giving others respect.

Although perspectives differ, backgrounds vary, and not every opinion is agreeable, everyone deserves to be given respect. You do not have to agree with every opinion you hear, but you also do not have to start an argument over it. When you give someone respect, you’re giving them space to voice their opinions. Nobody should have to keep their voice down. Your voice is a part of who you are, your voice allows you to convey who you are, and nobody should ever be deprived of being true to him/herself.

When you give someone respect, you give them a platform for confidence.  It can give someone the confidence he/she did not have before; the confidence to say what is on their mind, the confidence to do what is right or even the confidence to openly give someone else respect. Here at the Peace Learning Center we encourage respect, we help to build the platform for the voice inside to be kindly  shared.  In our groups, we exercise how to listen with respect and how to respond with respect.  Respect is a two way street, and when one person gives respect, it allows for the other person to return it.

From the Intern: A New Fiscal Year

Jun09

As the Marketing and Communications Intern, I’m able to participate in the business side of the nonprofit, peacemaking organization.  With this, I’m helping to create the Annual Report for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year. Reviewing the year’s activities and events, I’m sincerely blown away at how much this empowering group of people are doing.  They are all working together to better livIMG_1905es and improve the minds of youth and families.

I included a picture I took on my first day of the door leading to the stairs where the kids learn about meditation. I love the simplicity and pureness of the statements. Peace be with you.”  It’s a greeting, it’s a farewell, it’s a kind command. Peace be with you. Nothing is stopping serenity from easing your mind.  Letting peace happen is a choice. It’s mind over matter, and knowing when to stop worrying.  It’s allowing yourself to hold a kind mindset.  You can’t always come into a peaceful situation, but I’m learning how you can take the steps necessary to have a more peaceful life.

I have been exploring the numerous ways in which the organization works to facilitate their different programs  to achieve a mindful lifestyle.  Today a church group came to participate in a day of peace building.  One of PLC’s partners is Act Out.  Actors  act out a particular scenario, and they allow the visiting group to say what should happen, what should be done, or what could have been done.  From an activity like this, the groups are able to see consequences from actions or observe the more just choice.

With Peace Learning Center being set in the beautiful Eagle Creek Park, the groups are able to be outside, and they are not just lectured over the ways they can create peace.  Instead they are involved, learning and seeing firsthand how to have a kinder mindset. I think having the camps outside gives way for the sunshine and fresh air to create a positive, friendly, open environment.  As I sit typing this, I can hear today’s group outside. They’re working on a team building exercise; the sounds of excitement are contagious and inviting.  I’m headed out to see the peace empowerment for myself now, but check back every Tuesday and Thursday to see what else I’m learning!

From the Intern

Jun07

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My name is Arianna Cruz. I’ll be the Marketing and Communications Intern at the Peace Learning Center this summer. Throughout my time here, I’ll be sharing my experiences and new memories with each of you. Starting with my first day at the Peace Learning Center, my eyes were quickly opened to the change taking place in Indianapolis.

Turning into the park immediately set my mind at ease. The morning dew was still glistening in the grass, morning joggers sprinkled the trails along the road, and the morning birds waking everyone up. I walked into my new workhome for the summer, a little nervous but more than excited to learn.

My main purpose at this internship will be learning the ins and outs of how a nonprofit manages their in-house marketing and how the business incorporates the skills of communications. However, with the Peace Learning Center, I’m also on my way to understanding how change starts with a person and the unlimited ways anyone can contribute to the cause.

It’s not just about teaching young adults, kids, or adults how to better themselves. The facilitators encourage a kind mindset not only to help a person individually, but they show how a positive attitude in one life will lead to a positive change in the world around them. I strongly believe in leading by example, and on my first day here, I’ve already observed so much drive, so much heart, and so much passion from the people working here. They all have an aura about them, each of them radiating an enthusiastic, heartwarming energy. Not only am I now excited to learn, but now I’m ready to be part of the change in making more peace in this world.

Be on the look out for my posts on Tuesdays & Thursdays!

Volunteer of the Month – May

May24
Outdoor WorkJoan and Larry Vanore are this month’s Volunteers of the Month. Joan and Larry have adopted Peace Learning Center as their own personal project and have begun to help us revitalize our building and landscaping. “I have been very impressed with the plan the two of them have put together to help Peace Learning Center fix many of the structural issues of our building,” said Director of Operations, Tiffany Tibbot.
Joan and Larry will be leading our grantees, Giving Sum, in a Mini TLC for PLC Day on June 4th. Please see details below if you’re interested in joining us!
WHAT: Giving Sum members, Peace Learning Staff and Board invite you to join us for a day of beautification and renovation. The service day will be dedicated to outdoor activities such as cleaning gutters, burying drainage pipes, painting picnic tables, and landscaping. If interested in participating please contact Tiffany Tibbot, ttibbot@peacelearningcenter.org 
WHEN:  Saturday, June 4, 2016 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Peace Learning Center, 6040 DeLong Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254

Volunteer of the Month – April

Apr12

IMG_9878[1]Ashleigh Orr is this month’s Volunteer of the Month. As a volunteer Ashleigh has been a huge help in the implementation and success of Cocktails & Coloring, a Peace Learning Center fundraiser. Jay Horan, our Director of Engagement, has worked closely with Ashleigh and said, “Ashleigh is so fun to be around! She is always positive and willing to help in any way possible. She has a go get ’em attitude and has no problem jumping right into a project.”

Thank you Ashleigh for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Dec07

PLC at  Fever Game

Volunteer Week of Appreciation: December 7-11

Peace Learning Center would like to take a moment to thank you for all you do! Our organization would not be what it is today without your generous help and support. To show our gratitude we would like to invite you to enjoy a week of festivities in your honor!

Monday, Dec. 7: Relaxation and Rejuvenation, 6:30-8 pm at Unitarian Universalist Church of Indy
Peace Learning Center volunteers are invited to join us for a night of relaxation and rejuvenation. Treat yourself to a guided mediation and learn about other calming techniques to reduce stress. This is an open house style event, you are welcome to come and go as you please!

Registration is required to attend. Click here to register.

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Newsletter-Special Edition
Watch your emails that day for a special shout-out from us, to you! A newsletter will go to all of our supporters highlighting the incredible things you have helped us to accomplish this year! Sit back, kick your feet up, and read about just how awesome you are!

Wednesday, Dec. 9: Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, 5:30-8 pm at Peace Learning Center
Join us for a delicious meal at Peace Learning Center! Each volunteer is welcome to bring one guest. Dinner will start at 6pm. However, park gates will lock at 6 pm, so please plan on arriving between 5:30-5:50 to ensure you can enter the park. A PLC staff person will escort you out of the park at the end of the event.

Registration is required to attend; registration will close on Dec 8th. Click here to register.

Thursday, Dec. 10: Shirt Pickup, 9 am-5 pm at Peace Learning Center
Ever wished you had some sweet PLC swag? Well now’s your chance. Head over to Peace Learning Center on Thursday between 9 am-5 pm to pick-up your new Peace Learning Center Volunteer shirt. Contact Jay Horan at jhoran@peacelearningcenter.org to request a park pass to enter the park without having to pay the entrance fee.

Friday, Dec. 11: Q&A with the Executive Director and Eagle Creek Tour, 2-4 pm at Peace Learning Center
End your work week with a beautiful tour of Eagle Creek Park on our Peace Learning Center Peace Bus. Our Executive Director, Tim Nation, will narrate your trip and share a wealth of knowledge about the history of Eagle Creek Park. Afterwards, you are welcome to explore the park or join us for a question and answer session with our executive director and learn all that you’ve ever wanted to know about Peace Learning Center!

Registration is required and seating is limited. Click here to register.

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