• Taher MV

Seeds of Peace

Cost: $3000 for those outside of Maine, $2000 for those living in Maine

Location: Otisfield, Maine

Founded in 1993 by John Wallach, Seeds of Peace (SoP) only had 43 campers from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and the US. SOP now has an alumni body of over 7,000 and has continued to expand inside the US and internationally.. Many of SoP’s summer programs are also online so it is the perfect time to apply from anywhere in the world. This program is open to rising 9-12 graders. To participate and apply, you can visit their website at .

Jerusalem Peacebuilders

Cost: $440, limited scholarships available

Location: Jerusalem and Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Reverend Nicholas and Dorothy Porter founded Jerusalem Peace Builders (JPB) in 2011 with the intention of bringing together Israeli, Palestinian, and American youth to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.. They continued to expand, first into American schools and soon after into schools in the Middle East. Though primarily based in Texas, JBP also has operations in Connecticut and Vermont along with their international roots. JBP offers a variety of institutes targeted at different age groups from 14-18 offering opportunities to all highschool students. JBP is unique in its offerings and deep rooted connection to Jerusalem and the Holy land as well as their international courses. You can learn more and apply at .

TAP into Summer

Cost: Free

Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

The Acceptance Project was founded in 2017 by Taha Vahanvaty, a freshman at the time. With the goal of spreading civil discourse in his town in North Eastern Pennsylvania, he quickly grew the club at Stroudsburg High before spreading to neighboring districts. TAP branched off from civil discussion in 2019 with the creation of TAP into Summer, a free summer camp available to anyone in the region willing to share their ideas and listen. The Acceptance Project is in the unique position of being completely student run and allows for a deeper relationship between administrator and camper as well as a more open forum for honesty. TAP into Summer is open to all rising 10-12 graders and creates the perfect opportunity to get involved in your own community and share the values of healthy communication. You can apply at and applications are still open for summer of 2021.

Debate it Forward

Cost: $400-450 for Summer Programs, Flexible pricing

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Debate it Forward offers classes and camps for a large diaspora of ages and experience levels. With programs available to ages Pre-K through Eighth grade, Debate it forward is the perfect opportunity for the youth to get involved in public speaking and leadership development before high school. Founded in 2015 by Leah Shapiro, DiF was inspired by the importance of debate in the life of her young nephew and all youth. She aspired to offer a camp affordable to all and meets people where they are able to pay. DiF aims to instill the valuable skills debate offers into the next generation without the partisan divisions that often accompany them. DiF runs affordable events and classes as well as in person summer camps for all age ranges. There is no application necessary and you can register for any program at .

Camp Etgar 36

Cost: $6450 or $8450

Location: Begins in Atlanta, Travels across US

Etgar is a travel program that takes campers across the country and provides experiences as well as a platform for discussion of some of today’s most divisive issues. The origins of Etgar 36 started in 1995 when founder Billy Planer began annual weekend trips with a youth group. Etgar allows students to travel around the US and connect with new religious, cultural and historical, landmarks and experiences. As of 2021, more than 23,000 adults and teens have traveled with Etgar 36. While Summer Journey’s are a main component of Etgar, they also offer Civil rights trips that connect students with important locations around the nations that were pivotal in the civil rights movement. You can find out more information and enroll at, .

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Updated: Apr 7

Compassion Fatigue has turned teens away from news, but they are finding ways to tune in again.

It is hard to sincerely care about the plethora of problems facing the country right now. Whether it is a mass shooting in California or an economic catastrophe in Haiti, people are constantly being bombarded with the updated calamities of the world.

What is often mistaken as apathy or woeful ignorance is something else entirely; compassion fatigue. The continuous exposure to negative media and problems with our world has stripped many of their humanity and ability to empathize. Compassion fatigue is very similar to burnout. It's the feeling of emotional or physical exhaustion with your surroundings leading to the inability to empathize with others or feel compassion for them.

Originally, compassion fatigue was most associated with first responders and people who assist victims of trauma on daily basis. Up to 86% of Urgent Care nurses showed signs of compassion fatigue, often

causing a disconnect between patients and caregivers, hindering their ability to connect and provide adequate care to their patients.

However, recent research has proved that compassion fatigue is no longer unique to front-line workers. Its new demographic: teens. Because of the highly impressionable mind of teens and the growing reach of negative journalism, compassion fatigue has become more widespread in recent years. Social media and modern news outlets have allowed for continuous feeds filled with tragedy and hardship around the world. This constant intake of negative information takes a severe toll on the mind and its ability to empathize with those afflicted.

Single motherhood rates are at an all-time high and coupled with the fact that around 50% of marriages end in divorce, the mental strain on young minds is high. The average college debt is over $30,000 and unemployment for teens and millennials is only rising.

The hard truth is that most of the world’s calamities or disasters are just not a priority for American students. It is not a matter of them being cold and heartless, but as high schoolers, they have to deal with their own life troubles before they move on to worrying about the rest of the world.

With compassion fatigue on the rise, the major problems we face don’t seem to be going away. Thankfully, there is a solution to the emotional burnout many of us feel. Staying involved and educated about important current events without investing yourself too much is key in remaining empathic and informed.

Isolation and helplessness are key factors of compassion fatigue and compound the negative effects. Discussion and opportunities to share your feelings are some of the most vital preventative measures you can take in making sure you remain grounded and healthy.

Organizations that facilitate civil discourse like The Acceptance Project (TAP) are the perfect forum to share your ideas and participate in the discussion that negates compassion fatigue. These platforms are hard to come by, but they are necessary for people to keep their heads above water and see things from a healthy perspective.

Getting students involved in current events and the news is a process. It requires a societal effort to adapt the information to the lives of a teen. The solution to getting students more informed is not to guilt them or shove the information down their throats. It is to simply show them that their opinion matters, and that their voice no matter how small can create a change.

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The Acceptance Project is a for youth by youth organization that facilitates civil discourse in America's high schools, in order to create a new generation of empathic leaders, active listeners, and critical thinkers."


Call: (570)-350-2870
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