Organizer Dan Doyle, who started the World Scholar-Athlete Games in 1993, is
adding the first World Youth Peace Summit to the offerings planned for summer
2011 at the University of Connecticut.
Leading up to the summit, Doyle said, youth can get involved by attending peace
lectures around Connecticut and organizing peace walks around the world.
Doyle is taking an incremental approach, moving slowly but deliberately towards
This step by step process, said Doyle, is “at the heart of projects of high
Doyle said peace summit organizers will need perseverance.
“You don’t turn back if you believe in it,” said Doyle.
At the Scholar-Athlete Games, which start June 26, 2011, students aged 15 to 19
compete for scholarships, said Doyle.
The four-day World Youth Peace Summit, which includes all the athletes and
others, is a series of workshops and lectures following the games and concludes
on July 4, 2011.
“I’m so glad this is in Connecticut,” said Sarah Hague, a high school senior
from Barkhamsted, Connecticut who serves on U.S. Congressman John Larson’s Youth
Larson’s Youth Cabinet will serve as the liaison between the federal government
and the peace summit.
“This will be the best way now to focus our energy,” said Nathan Ramsey, a
senior at Windsor High School in Windsor, Connecticut and a member of the
“You are the change agents,” said Eva Bunnell, who leads the Youth Cabinet for
Larson. “The world you leave your children will be better than the world we left
A lot of people have the idea that young people don’t care, said Bunnell.
“You guys really prove them wrong,” Bunnell said. “When they hear your voice and
they hear your story, that’s where your power is.”
Doyle said the first peace lecture would take place this spring. Leading up to
the summit, Doyle said, there will be 50 or 60 lectures around the state by
various speakers including celebrities and professors, to build interest.
Young people around the world can design their own “pathways to peace,”
according to Doyle, depending on their own interests.
One young Mexican woman returned from a peace summit and began working to raise
money for hearing impaired children who needed Cochlear ear implants.
“A pathway to peace doesn’t have to be nuclear proliferation,” said Doyle.
Sheryl Comer, a senior at Windsor High School who is part of Larson’s Youth
Cabinet, said she liked the idea of a pep rally for peace because not every
teenager would get excited about attending a peace lecture.
In the fall, said Doyle, there will be a leadership forum for students from
Connecticut who will attend the summit. He said it is likely to be held at UConn.
A month before the opening ceremonies, Doyle said, there will be peace walks
held all around the world. He said alumni of the World Scholar-Athlete Games
will be asked to lead peace walks in their home cities.
He said it’s a way to gather tens of thousands of people to walk for peace and
to raise money to support the summit.
Opening ceremonies will include a speech by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell, followed by six straight days of the Scholar-Athlete games.
The four-day peace summit will begin at the conclusion of the games. It will
include major speeches in Hartford and a performance by a youth symphony with
musicians from at least 60 countries.
The summit will end on July 4, America’s Independence Day.
“It will be a magical closing ceremony,” said Doyle.
Of the 2,500 students at the summit, 700 will come from Connecticut, said Doyle,
with the rest from around the United States and abroad.
Registration for the World Scholar-Athlete Games opens May 7. For the World
Youth Peace Summit, registration opens July 1.
“We are truly expecting to be overwhelmed with applications,” said Doyle.