North Hills students sending positive message with Peace Walk
Students at North Hills Senior High School in Ross Township are asking people in the community to help raise awareness of discrimination and social injustice by participating in a Peace Walk from 10 a.m. to noon at Martorelli Stadium, which is along Route 19 in West View.
The walk will go on rain, shine or snow and will feature light refreshments and camaraderie, said Andrea Alban, a North Hills senior and student chairwoman for the event. The event, an initiative of the high school's Peer to Peer Empowerment club, Alban said, will be enjoyable and promote kindness.
“It's just one day for peace and no negativity or anything of that nature. There's just going to be positive energy all around,” said Alban, 17.
The event is sponsored by Crisis Center North, which developed Peer to Peer Empowerment clubs at North Hills and other nearby schools as a way to promote and educate students about developing healthy relationships with each other, said Leon Strimel, a prevention educator at Crisis Center North, located in the North Hills. Crisis Center North provides services for victims of domestic violence.
Strimel said student representatives of the Peer to Peer Empowerment clubs from local high schools meet a few times a year for workshops. Crisis Center North representatives ask the students to brainstorm about issues they want to address.
Alban said last year, the North Hills students had an event to address bullying and that it was a success. She said she is hoping for the same thing this year.
“It's about raising awareness that discrimination does happen. If you see something, stand up, and say something,” said Alban, of Ross Township.
Strimel said he encourages school administrators to let the students take care of most of the planning responsibilities, such as coming up with an idea, securing a location, advertising and community outreach.
Along with inviting students from their high school, Alban said, event organizers also reached out to the junior high, as well, by visiting homerooms to spread word about the Peace Walk. Students also invited various community organizations, such as the local NAACP, and churches of different denominations to participate.
Students also reached out to their counterparts at other high schools, such as Montour, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Woodland Hills, she said.
And everyone in the community is invited to come walk. All people have to do is show up.
Bonnie Ziff, a family and consumer science teacher at North Hills High School, is the club's administrative representative, and, Alban said, Ziff was good about providing advice and guidance. Also, Alban said, school staff members in general have been very supportive, as well as other school clubs, such as the National Honor Society which helped with organization.
Alban said donations, such as one from the high school choir, have helped pay for expenses.
At North Hills, the Peer to Peer Empowerment club is part of the school's Hands for Service Club, of which Alban has been a member for three years. School representatives for the Peer to Peer Empowerment club are selected by school staff, Alban said, and she was proud to have been chosen.
While the walk won't change the world, the message is important, Alban said.
“It will be really calming and really good exercise because we'll be walking for two hours,” she said.
Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Storytelling festival events set for 2 Hampton sites
- Developer of proposed Ross housing plan sues diocese
- North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
- Workshop to shed light on using solar power in Ross
- Pine charity gives adaptive bikes to kids with disabilities
- Retired Richland physician celebrates 90th birthday by skydiving for 1st time