Promoting Peace at the Tongue Point Job Corps Center

A weeklong event at the Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Astoria, Oregon—all to promote peace. It began with mix-it-up Monday, an opportunity for students to get to know others better.

Student Kueli Fonua said, “We do need to interact with more people, because I feel like we hang out with the same people all the time. I like making new friends.”

Mandie Lynn added, “To get everyone together. To get out of your little circle and get to meet and interact with new people.”

Day two involved fun on the field as students and staff played kickball and dodgeball. It gave staff an opportunity to show their lighter side and to let students know how much they care.

Instructor Kemboi Chesimet said these types of activities make a difference, “Mentoring them. Seeing them grow to be adults, be human beings and bring a sense of peace to the world that needs a lot of that.”

The event was titled Y2Y Week. Y2Y or Youth2Youth:Partners4Peace is a national Job Corps initiative created to encourage a healthy Job Corps living and learning environment.

Student Austin Smith sees the value in promoting peace.

“Really to promote non-violence and to hopefully get all the bullying and sexual harassment to stop. Make the world a little better.”

Day three coincided with International Day of Peace and involved a community walk.

“I really like the fact that people showed up to the Y2Y peace walk mostly because I found something that I personally have been through in my mom’s history,” said Tongue Point Job Corps student Harley Schrand.

Erin Hofseth is a teen specialist with Harbor Resource Center which provides intervention, recovery, and support services to victims of abuse and assault. Erin said abuse can happen in many settings.

“One in four teens are abused through technology. I am so happy about this march. It was a great community effort. I’m super proud of the youth ambassadors at Tongue Point.”

Tongue Point Job Corps students, staff, and community members came together to support each other.

Shannon Symonds is a sexual assault advocate at the Harbor Resource Center.

“One of my favorite quotes is that love is what leads to peace, from one of the young men. I loved seeing a young man say that. So it was pretty cool. I loved it.”

Thursday, students were encouraged to burn any negative energy at a beautiful bonfire.

And the event wrapped up with a trade open house, where students visited each other’s training areas to learn more about them and their future careers.

Student Salesta Lee-Wright said, “It gives us a chance to understand each other which of course understanding brings peace.

It was a successful week that inspired, touched, and motived students to be better.