Former PeerForward President E. Kinney Zalesne reflects on PeerForward’s impact in Christian Science Monitor feature

“Nearly everyone who has ever participated in a PeerForward workshop has said it was one of the most profound experiences of their life. Working shoulder to shoulder with each other and the students, we adults were as transformed as the kids.”

In a recent article published in the Christian Science Monitor, Former PeerForward President E. Kinney Zalesne reflects on her first PeerForward summer workshop in 1999 and how it launched her on a career of collaborative social change. Zelesne began her journey with PeerForward (then called College Summit) as a college application writing coach, working in a team of 25 mentors to put 40 Chicago high school students on the path to college. In 2000, Zelesne became the organization’s president, and in her four years of service she led PeerForward’s expansion from a small program to a national movement.

This year, Zelesne began spearheading a new organization called Heart of a Nation, which aims to “[bring] together progressive Americans, progressive Israelis and progressive Palestinians to make all three societies better.” Zelesne writes that the lessons she learned in her time at PeerForward over two decades ago are guiding her on this new venture: to make those early workshops a success, she argues, “we had to pivot – from head-to-head to shoulder to shoulder, working side by side on a common project. That’s our stance heading into Heart of a Nation, too.”

Read the full article here for more on how PeerForward has shaped Zelesne’s outlook on the power of positive collaboration: https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/2021/0930/From-college-prep-to-Mideast-peace-Stop-talking-and-start-collaborating

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