CHARLOTTE – About 150 people turned out March 9 for AFS Greater Charlotte’s #PassPeaceForward Event & Fundraiser.
The reception, held at the top of One Wells Fargo, featured speeches stressing the importance of global peace within the community by Mujtaba Mohammed, member of the Leading on Opportunity Council, and Jenny Messner, founder of the Speedwell Foundation Scholarship Program.
Mohammed spoke about the three determinants of economic mobility – early education, college/career readiness and family stability. An assistant public defender, he described the struggles he sees every day when these things are not available.
He explained the importance of equality of opportunity and of connecting diverse communities. Mohammed tied these goals to the goals of AFS in Greater Charlotte, a foreign exchange program.
“We should arm our students,” said Rebecka Nelli, AFS volunteer. “Arm them with the knowledge the world has to offer in successes and failures. Arm them with the compassion and empathy grown from experiencing other cultures. Arm them with the leadership and confidence to make a difference. These are exactly what student exchange is proven to give.”
Exchange students from 16 countries, who are attending high schools across Charlotte, were there to mingle and answer questions about their countries and their experiences.
AFS Greater Charlotte will use money raised from the event to support scholarships for Charlotte-area high school students to study in foreign countries.
PNC Bank, Garfinkel Immigration Law and St Matthew Church co-sponsored the event.
AFS Greater Charlotte is accepting scholarship applications for summer, semester or full year. The organization is also looking for host families for the 2018-19 school year and for volunteers and partners.
“We are a tiny group with mighty goals,” Nelli said.