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Parents

Dear Parent,

We are thrilled that your son or daughter is considering being a part of Peacebuilders Initiative.  We believe in the gifts young people have to offer our Church and our world.  Our program is rooted in the words of Cardinal Bernardin that young people, “are the Church here and now and have a contribution to make.”

We are grateful that you are willing to entrust your children to us.  We take that responsibility very seriously.  We know that, as parents, you are concerned about your child’s education, religious formation, and leadership development.  We know you are also concerned about their well-being and safety.  We hope to answer some of your questions here.

We look forward to working with your family through your journey with the Peacebuilders Initiative.  Thank you for your interest and your support.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child be doing as a Peacebuilder?
Where will my child stay while a part of Peacebuilders?
Who will be overseeing my child during their time with Peacebuilders?
What policies does Peacebuilders enforce?
What is my role as the parent of a Peacebuilder?
What does the participation fee include?
What if my child is selected for Peacebuilders Initiative but I cannot afford the fee?
What can I find additional information?


What will my child be doing as a Peacebuilder?

Peacebuilders Initiative is a year-long program for high school junior and senior leaders from around Chicagoland, culminating in the creation of a student-led peace project.  Throughout the program, your son our daughter will experience theological study, hands-on ministry, prayer, reflection and leadership development in a community of peers and mentors.  Through Peacebuilders, he/she will be challenged to think critically, ask tough theological questions, and deepen their understanding of their faith.  Your child will learn the skills necessary for leadership, conflict resolution, and peacemaking. 


Where will my child stay while a part of Peacebuilders?

Peacebuilders Initiative makes its home in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago at Catholic Theological Union.  The summer program takes place in the academic building and residence hall of CTU’s campus.  The overnight winter retreat takes place at the Techny Towers Retreat and Conference Center in Techny, IL and the day-long closing retreat in March also is held at CTU.


Who will be overseeing my child during their time with Peacebuilders?

In addition to the two full-time staff, Peacebuilders hires a team of young-adult mentors, a nurse and a security guard.  Our mentor team serves as the primary group leaders throughout the seven-day residential summer program as well as the follow-up retreats.  All of our mentors have a background in and commitment to youth ministry, theology and peacemaking.  They attend intensive training sessions prior to the start of the program.  All mentors are individually interviewed, undergo a thorough driving and criminal background check, and participate in the Archdiocesan “Protecting God’s Children” program.  During the week-long summer program, a full-time nurse lives on campus with us.  The nurse keeps track of all medical forms, records medical data, distributes medication, and oversees all medical needs during the week.  From 9:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. during the summer program, a security guard is located at the front of the residential building.  He oversees the front doors of the building as well as the floors occupied by our Peacebuilders participants and mentors.


What policies does Peacebuilders enforce?

Peacebuilders Initiative takes the safety of all of our participants seriously and seeks to ensure a positive environment for developing community, learning, praying and building peace.  To that end, all Peacebuilder participants and parents are asked to read and sign a Code of Conduct prior to the start of the program. 


What is my role as a parent of a Peacebuilder?

We know that parents are a vital part of the Peacebuilding experience.  We encourage you to be a part of your son or daughter’s peacebuilding journey and invite you to be present at the orientation in May, the commissioning service at the close of the summer week in June, and the closing Mass at the end of the Spring Retreat in March.  

In addition, we hope you will consider joining us for our annual fundraising event, Peacebuilding the Future, held each year after the Spring Retreat in March. You can find more details here.


What does the participation fee include?

The participation fee includes all housing, meals, transportation and activities during the 7-day summer program, fall overnight retreat, and spring daylong retreat.  The fee only covers a small fraction of what it costs to run the program.  We seek grants and donations to cover our remaining costs.


What if my child is selected for Peacebuilders Initiative, but I cannot afford the fee?

Peacebuilders Initiative is committed to offering this program to all qualified young men and women, regardless of their family’s income level.  As such, Peacebuilders Initiative offers partial scholarships to qualified applicants.  Scholarships range from 50% - 75% of the total fee.  Scholarship applications should be submitted online along with the program application.


Where can I find additional information?

We hope the rest of our website will help to answer any additional questions you may have.  Our orientation in May will also offer you the opportunity to see CTU, meet the staff, learn more about the program and ask any and all questions.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Peacebuilder?