As my graduate program finally comes to a close, I have been thinking quite often about how surreal and formative this experience has been for me.

Although I came to study conflict resolution in an area of active conflict, I did not expect to actually experience it first hand as I did earlier this year during May’s hostilities. Learning about conflict and peacebuilding initiatives on the ground has been an enriching experience which drew me into the field of grassroots organizations that work to promote peace and reduce conflict.

Over the last several months I interned, and subsequently recently began working at an organization called PATHWAYS Institute for Negotiation Education. While I wear several hats, as a Project Officer, I helped to launch a pilot program on October 13th called Game Changers in Education which brings together university students from the United States and unique communities across Israel for an interactive virtual exchange in which they hone their problem-solving skills whilst also developing their intercultural understanding. I believe that education is one of the most powerful, sustainable tools to change the reality on the ground, and I feel beyond grateful that I have been afforded the opportunity to do my small part in helping to facilitate that change. While I get to serve communities in my work, I am hoping to also participate and have a more active role in service projects with my host Rotary club. To be successfully pursuing my dreams with a budding career in the peacebuilding field, and an MA in Conflict Resolution and Mediation (almost) under my belt, is to be living the life I have long dreamed of. I am truly thankful to District 5300, The Las Vegas Rotary Club, and The Rotary