Our Mission & Vision

We create peace through youth leadership, community service, global friendships, and thoughtful acts of kindness.

Our vision is a safe and peaceful world where all people respect and care for each other and our planet. Kids for Peace serves as a model and inspiration for creating this reality with children leading the way, not only for today, but for generations to come.

HISTORY

In 2006, Jill McManigal, a mother of two young children and Danielle Gram, a high school honors student met at a neighborhood party. Inspired by a “Peace” button Jill was wearing, the two engaged in a conversation about their wishes and hopes for our world. They quickly realized they shared a vision of bringing children together to lead the way for a brighter tomorrow for all.

Within weeks after meeting, Jill and Danielle gathered a small group of children in Jill’s backyard and Kids for Peace was born. With a deep conviction that youth are innately wise, the children were asked these questions, “What does peace mean to you?” “What do you want our world to look like?” “What can you do to create the world you wish to see?” “What do you want to pledge yourself to?” Listening to their wisdom, our Peace Pledge was created and our mission was solidified.

The children got busy helping others, learning about other cultures, caring for our earth and doing their part to make a positive difference. The news of these dynamic children spread quickly and soon requests were made to replicate Kids for Peace in several neighborhoods. Organically, the pure and powerful message of our children spread around the world.

Today, Kids for Peace is a global 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that provides a platform for young people to actively engage in socially conscious leadership, community service, arts, environmental stewardship and global friendships. Kids for Peace has launched over 300 interconnected chapters around the world. Through Kids for Peace projects and programs, youth of all socioeconomic backgrounds are empowered to become part of positive solutions leading to a healthy and harmonious planet.

CO-FOUNDERS

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Danielle Gram

Danielle Gram is currently leading international program development for Kids for Peace. After graduating from Harvard College in 2011, Danielle was awarded the Frederick Sheldon Prize Traveling Fellowship. From fall 2011-2012, Danielle traveled and worked with vulnerable children in Asia, East Africa and the Middle East. Among her many experiences, she adapted the Kids for Peace curriculum for use with former child soldiers and for children living in refugee camps and conflict settings.

Danielle focused her undergraduate studies on religion, violence, and human security. Her senior thesis focused on the plight of children accused of witchcraft in central Africa. At Harvard, Danielle worked at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a think-tank for humanitarian response where she worked on projects addressing humanitarian concerns in Haiti, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2009, she received a David Rockefeller Experience Grant which enabled her to bring Kids for Peace programming to abused women and children in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Danielle has received numerous prizes and awards for her academic excellence and public service leadership including the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, the Peter J. Gomes Prize in Religion and Ethnicity, the Philippe Wamba Prize, the 2010 World of Children Youth Founder's Award, the ABC 10 News Leadership Award and the Nestle's Very Best in Youth Award. Danielle hopes to continue strengthening the programs of Kids for Peace so that all children, especially those directly affected by violence, can have a space to cultivate peace for themselves and others.

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Jill McManigal

Jill McManigal is a California native who joyfully resides in Carlsbad, CA with her two children. She has her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Service Learning, a BA in Communications from the University of Southern California, Nonprofit Management Certificate from Chapman University and a Certificate of Leadership from the Fieldstone Foundation. She is a former elementary school teacher who has written and directed numerous children’s musicals and inspirational rallies. Jill has consistently been elected to leadership roles including high school student body president and president of the Alpha Phi sorority at USC. Jill will tell you though, her favorite elected office was her term as Sunshine Chairman where she was able to encourage simple acts of kindness in an official capacity!
Jill is the recipient of several leadership awards including: Bank of America’s Local Hero Award, Congresswoman Susan Davis’s Empowering Youth in Service Award, ABC Channel 10’s Leadership Award, CISV Founders Award, Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s Award of Excellence, the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, President Obama’s Call to Service Award, and April 26th proclaimed as "Jill McManigal Day" in San Diego. When she is not loving up her children, Hana and Bodhi, or running Kids for Peace, Jill loves to travel and participate in sprint triathlons where she gets to enjoy the outdoors swimming, biking and walking. Jill’s true passion is working closely with children and making the world kinder and more compassionate for all.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lori Perez

President

Jennifer Hardy

Vice President

Mary Tong

Secretary

Sherine Bishara Parker

Board Member

Toni Hood

Board Member

Josh Hunter

Board Member

Kristen Kinney

Board Member

Megan Nelson

Board Member

Ryan Malstaff

Board Member

Lily McGuire

Board Member

Fran O’Callaghan

Board Member

Lea Quirin

Board Member

Puja Shah

Board Member

Vikas Srivastava

Board Member

STAFF

Jill McManigal

Executive Director

Asia Moore

Program Director

Kristen Kinney

Peace Pledge Program Director

Heather Bensen

Special Events Coordinator

Gwen Lauren Meitchik

Social Medial Specialist
aka. Queen of Kindness

Janelle Mentzel

Bookkeeper

Jackie Papazian-Brown

Development Director