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MEET OUR NEW PROGRAM ASSISTANT NOELLE! Reflections on peacebuilding and joining the team

JPB is pleased to welcome Noelle Boyd as a US-based Program Assistant. Noelle recently graduated from New York University and connected with JPB over the summer. Below, she reflects on her hire and journey as a peacebuilder:

"Thinking about my swift entrance into this incredible organization and larger, innovative mission for peace, I can honestly say

that JPB first chose me."

After recently graduating from NYU in the spring, I stumbled upon JPB's website late in the summer. I was searching for an opportunity to grow my passion for people-to-people connection, teaching, and understanding some of humanity's most pressing issues - all from my hometown here in Houston. At the time, I hadn't realized just how much of a force the field of 'peacebuilding' was in the diplomatic relations world - my career trajectory of interest - sharing many roots, theories, and frames in common with what I had loved so dearly in my undergraduate studies of Anthropology at NYU.

Though feeling severely under-qualified in my ability to contribute effectively to the dialogue around healing and reconciliation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at least on a personal level, I decided that I would simply start with telling my story. I've always been drawn to that: storytelling, dialogue, facilitation, and conversation. And, as it turns out, that is exactly what the heart of JPB is all about: drawing like-minded individuals from all walks of life, ages, faiths and fortitudes into a space to grow and be challenged as new narratives are placed on the table.

Photos from Noelle's life changing pilgrimage to the Holy Land during university

In my email, to who would later become my future boss - the wonderful Jack Karn, Program Director of JPB, I detailed my personal connections and questions regarding the Holy Land. I told of my travels there as a junior through NYU's Israel Insights program for campus leaders. I connected my revelations from that trip to my subsequent decision to study abroad in Ghana as a senior. I painted the picture and passion of mine to serve in ministry all four years I schooled in the city- both on my colorful campus and in the craziness of the concrete jungle at my local church. After a few interviews and insightful conversations, I found myself soon joining the JPB family in their journey towards peace, and my vision for both my career and call have never been the same."


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