D4D Endorsement from Pitzer Student, Nicholas Romo, qualifying finalist 2011-2012:
"The Project Pericles Debating for Democracy program allows you to bring awareness to issues that you are deeply passionate about. It provides you the opportunity to begin formulating your concerns into written demands as you partake directly in our country’s democratic process. In the unfolding 21st century, the strength of our democratic process will rely on our carrying out of its traditions. We must use it to further create a more equal and just society. This is an opportunity to get your feet wet.
Attending the Conference devolved upon me a great sense of honor. The 2012 conference was held in New York City, New York. We were given the opportunity to tour programs across the city aimed at closing the domestic and global education gap. Among others, I chose to visit Democracy Prep charter school located in the Harlem neighborhood. This experience added to my understanding of urban poverty and efforts to revitalize communities from the inside through schools that act as safe spaces and incubators of conscience, college ready students. During the conference, we were addressed by panels of economic, political, and media scholars who gave light to reasons for our downturned economy and low civic participation rates. We were challenged to balance the U.S. budget through an interactive activity that required us to make normative and responsible decisions, much like the leaders of our nation. Also, we got to engage in discussion with various successful non-profit organization entrepreneurs.
I learned that there are many different views and ideologies that guide this country. I learned that cooperation is necessary. My beliefs on social and economic issues were challenged, changed, and even reaffirmed. I encourage those of you who have a passion for service, public policy, non-profit work, and democratic traditions, to apply to the D4D program. This is an amazing opportunity to network with leading figures in civic/community engagement, education, the environment, politics, public policy, and social entrepreneurship. My advice is to write about something you are passionate and well informed about, you may make it to the finals! At that stage you will be asked to defend your policy proposal in front of career politicians. There is a Prize and you will get to tour the city on your free time!"
More Periclean Student Testimonials:
"It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!" - Hendrix College Student
"My session with Ami Dar [Founder of Idealist.org] made the conference tremendously meaningful, informative, and purposeful. It was very empowering to sit in a room amongst a small group of activists and academics." - Carleton College Student
"Engaging with people who are directly ... [working for] change was the most valuable part across the board, from the social action breakout groups to debating with the legislative hearing panel to visiting non-profit agencies." - Earlham College Student
"The trip to the nonprofit turned out to be the most valuable because I learned about issues and policy ideas that I had never thought of before." - Drew University Student