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Mississippi, South Carolina Students Ship off to South Korea This Summer

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Bruce Case has founded the 2015 Young People’s Delegation to South Korea: Parallels of Justice; Pathways of Peace, a program benefitting students from Mississippi and South Carolina to go to Seoul, South Korea for two weeks this July.

Case, a pastor with the United Methodist Church, will be leading a delegation of 19 students to Seoul in hopes of engaging in culture, stories and thoughts with other young people in South Korea.

“The outcome of this trip is for these students to integrate their faith in a way they can create change for good,” Case said. “Millennials are hungry for something that stretches them for a greater purpose in life. We would like to provide an opportunity for them to shine.”

The program started as an idea of Case’s back in September 2014 at the annual Peace with Justice Program in Washington, D.C.. There, he met with Jeri Katherine Sipes with the South Carolina Methodist Clergy in Columbia and Levi Baltista member of the board of Church and Society with the United Nations in New York City. From there, they brainstormed ideas of how to further engage more young people and stretch their faith. Then came the idea of what if students from South Carolina and Mississippi could be delegates and learn about South Korean Culture.

Following the meeting, they contacted churches and began accepting applications. Requirements were to have an open mind, write a two page essay describing their desire to learn about other cultures and teacher or professor recommendations. They chose ten students from Mississippi and 5 students from South Carolina.

“We have an incredibly diverse, great group of students. We look to change the narrative of how we see ourselves and how the country sees us. We would like to just listen and come back with new eyes,” Case said.

With not one cent behind the project, Case started fundraising in any way he could. Through conference grants, family and friends of their delegates, members of churches and a generous grant from the McNair Foundation of Millsaps College, they have successfully raised close to their goal. Despite some economic restraints within churches, he was incredibly surprised to see the generosity towards the program.

“Having no existing program in place, our challenge was to educate people. We had to sharpen the message to students and parents to raise money. It floored me the amount of generous contributions,” said Case.

The trip is only a few months away, and the students have begun preparing for their journey. A part of their assignment is to read One Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout, and following the trip they are required to visit three different churches to share their experience, with one being cross cultural. They have also been instructed to do reading on U.S. Policy as well as Geopolitics in South Korea for further understanding.

Nineteen delegates from South Carolina and Mississippi will be traveling to Seoul June 30. Two students from Ole Miss, five from Millsaps College, two from University of Southern Mississippi, one from Itawamba Community College include the students attending from Mississippi. From South Carolina, there will be two from University of South Carolina, one from Clemson and one from Winthrop University.

If you would like to help with a contribution, please write a check to Parkway Hills UMC, PO Box 1721, Madison, MS 39130.

Margaretta Carter is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at mdcarte1@go.olemiss.edu.

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