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Youth Community Service Hosts Shinnyo-en Foundation for International Day of Peace at Palo Alto’s Gunn High School

On September 30, 2011 hundreds of Gunn High School students in Palo Alto, California celebrated International Day of Peace in the school’s central quad.

“What do I do next?” “Which way do I fold this?” These were just some of the excited shouts heard as Gunn High School students scrambled to fold origami paper into paper cranes as a sign of peace. Students folded cranes while listening to music, and enjoying a pizza lunch. They received Six Billion Paths to Peace tee-shirts and pins provided by the Shinnyo-en Foundation. Youth Community Service planned the school event in partnership with the Shinnyo-en Foundation.

On International Peace Day (Sept 21) students took their cameras with the challenge to capture what peace looked like in their world. Students took inspirational photos of their peers, community, and even local navy cadets. These pictures were displayed around the quad to inspire students to find peace within their lives. 

During the event, Shinnyo-en Foundation Program Director, Ineko Tsuchida Ph.D., shared an inspiring message with the students. She challenged students to look beyond their own community. “Every act of kindness we do,” she said, “radiates out into the world.” By the end of the day, students had folded several hundred cranes with many more still to be folded towards the goal of one thousand cranes for peace.

The Palo Alto community has been the focus of concern for youth well-being following a cluster of Gunn High School student suicides in the past two years. With that background, this day of peace took on additional meaning. The support of the Shinnyo-en Foundation was greatly appreciated by the event organizers.