SAN JOSE, CALIF. – The City Peace Project has recently taken over the Silver Creek community and the schools surrounding it, spreading their words of positivity and influencing everyone with them.
The City Peace Project was created in 2012 by Pastor Danny Sanchez and his wife, Abby. From the start, they were going around schools helping students. Sanchez started as a Chaplain, helping families out when there would be a loss in the community. During that time, he saw that he needed to do more than that. No longer wanting to be reacting to the end result of these stories and attending funerals, he wanted to make a change. So unlike all the systems made to be reactive, The City Peace was created to be proactive, fighting violence with peace.
Karolina Nava and Stephanie Rosa, both members of The City Peace Project, spoke of their goals for The City Peace Project. “Every student should feel like they have someone to look up to, and to have someone who cares for them. Not everyone has a caring adult in their life and if I can be that person in someone’s life I would want students to feel comforted by me and to feel like they could come to me personally.” Says Carolina
Stephanie Rosa adds, “To be there holistically for the children in every aspect of their lives in any way we could be there so that every one of the students we interact with feels like someone is in their corner”
The effect The City Peace Project had on the community was drastic. Early upon the school year in Silver Creek, it was a very difficult year for the community. However, the presence of The City Peace Project seemed to change that. The school was less tense and the environment felt more positive.
“When I started here a lot of faculty told me had a very hard year last year. It was hard on students and it was hard on the community. But I heard a lot of feedback, that when The City Peace Project came there was a lot of relief for students, staff and the community.” Karolina mentions.
“I just think it’s cool to see how the kids get attached to having a consistent team member and consistent mentors around, and I do think the environment at the school has really changed because that is Danny’s whole method. Fun is the opposite of pain.” Stephanie then adds.
What’s unique about The City Peace Project is that every member has a different walk in life. All the members have different stories which allows all the students to relate to multiple other people.
The City Peace Project also offers many things in school and outside of school for the students. From a range of large events like pro-socials, Pizza Parties, field trips to San Jose Earthquakes games and Peace Parties at places such as Chuck E. Cheese, they also offer support in was such as in the Social Emotional curriculum, mentorships, referrals, de-escalation and meetings with parole officers.
A big goal for The City Peace Project and its members is that kids get to feel like kids. Because in a lot of different spheres, students don’t get to feel like kids, whether it’s here or at home. The City Peace Project wants them to have fun.
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