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A Letter From Minnesota

Dear Friends at the Shinnyo-en Foundation,
It was an honor to host a group of students for a day at the end of July in Edina for NYLC’s youth leadership training.  I was very excited to listen some of our city’s stakeholders and leaders as we discussed the achievement gap, its impact on suburban students and to think about hope for our future.

I wanted to share the attached photos – Nan Peterson, Senior Shinnyo Fellow, was one of our guests and she spoke with the group about the Six Billion Paths to Peace Initiative in the morning.  The young people were so excited – so much so that we asked them to share what they had learned with a group of students with autism as we collaborated on a service project later that afternoon.  For those of us in MN – we know the joys and sorrows of pulling buckthorn but for those of you in sunny CA, you can only imagine the blood, sweat and tears that go into removing this invasive species that threatens our forests.

It was a very moving experience to hear the kids with autism tell the leadership group all about buckthorn and how to remove it.  It was equally as moving to hear the leadership group talk about 6 Billion Paths to Peace, what their paths were and how we can all have our own path.

Many thanks and blessings to you all,
Julie Rogers Bascom

Service Learning Coordinator

Edina Public Schools