Not all students can say they go out to bars over the weekend for a good cause. Instead of feeling guilty the day after your night of funneling shots and spending your week’s worth of food money, the Global Peace Exchange (GPE) at Florida State is providing students a guilt-free opportunity to grab a beer, jam to local music and help fund service trips at their third annual Jam For Peace event. It will be held this upcoming Thursday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Strip.
The GPE was founded in 2006 at FSU to engage, educate and empower students and communities to participate in projects around the world. It focuses on sustainable development around campus and in the community. The group is hosting Jam For Peace in hopes to raise money to travel to Nepal, Ghana, Cambodia and Rwanda over the summer.
“All of our projects focus on a different social issue. GPE partners directly with nonprofit organizations, and students work directly with them for 6-8 weeks. What is awesome about GPE is that students engage in humanitarian work while experiencing cultural exchange,” said Oriana Fuentes, FSU sophomore and GPE’s social media and Public Relations chair.
FSU senior Economics major Joey Kilpatrick traveled to Rwanda last summer and gained experience in international development.
“The project in Rwanda seemed to be the perfect way to volunteer and see if I actually wanted to go into [international development]. I had also been with GPE for the year as the Finance Chair, but the project was a way for me to see what I wanted to do career wise,” Kilpatrick said.
In Nepal, students teach English, promote environmental sustainability and work with scout troops. In Cambodia, volunteers focus on English education for children. They will work with Children alongside Hope for Development. In Ghana, volunteers teach English, and work with Compassionate Women. This is an organization that focuses on the empowerment of women in Tafi Atome. GPE also helps entrepreneurs in Rwanda launch their businesses and provides a base for them to do so.
“I gained a better understanding of myself and what I would like to do in the future. In Rwanda there is a problem of too many qualified people for a small number of jobs, leading to small business development taking over as a way of life for many people. Along with three other volunteers, we built a curriculum that aimed to prepare young adults in Kigali to successfully create their own businesses,” Kilpatrick said.
Jam For Peace will include local bands such as Eden, FreeBeer, Southpaw and the Blue Mile. There will be raffle prizes that range anywhere from a $25 gift certificate to the Melting Pot to two VIP Brewery tours at Sweetwater Brewing Company and all night drink specials ($1 drinks until 12 a.m., 2$ drinks until 2 a.m., and $1 shots all night). All activities will be spread out among Red Rocks and Yiannis. The cover for the event is $5.
By ALLISON KRIDLE / Intern Writer