Elon Periclean Scholars

Four Takeaways from Itzahak Perlman’s Convocation Speech

The Periclean Scholars Class of 2016 decided to take time off from our regularly schedule class to attend Elon’s Fall Convocation: A Conversation with Itzahak Perlman. Although this event wasn’t the most relevant event to our class hosted at Elon, attending this speech was well worth our time. Here are some of the things that I got out of Convocation:

The Importance of Practice and Practicing Well:

As one of the most accomplished classical musicians in the world, I trust that Pearlman knows about practicing. As a boy, he would rehearse for 3 hours a day. His advice during convocation was to practice with a goal in mind to maximize effectiveness. Messing around for three hours with a violin won’t make you a concert violinist. But, if you do small things with purpose, those skills will build on each other and create the skills you need to be great. This can relate to our work at Periclean since the structure of the class gives us time to build our skills. We learn about our countries of focus, we study success and failures in humanitarian aid, we learn teamwork and leadership skills with each other. In other words, we practice. This has been an essential part of our time as Pericleans, proving Perlman’s theory is definitely right- in case the 17 Grammy Awards he’s won wasn’t enough proof.


How to Keep Motivated:

Since Perlman has been playing since he was around 5, an important question the moderator brought up was “How do you keep going?”. Burnout is also an issue in humanitarian aid, and something that has even affected some of the present and past members of our class. Perlman’s answer was simple, you have to have an interest, and you have to keep doing what you like. Nothing is going to replace that passion or initial interest you have. My class’s initial interest in aid work is what drove all of us to apply for the program. However, the second part of Perlman’s advice is about keeping motivated. Perlman has been playing since he was young, but he also started conducting and teaching in order to create new ways to appreciate his art. Hit a slump with a certain project? Try approaching it though a different role. Try getting involved with a similar organization. Try challenging yourself in a new way. This different approach could be enough to remind you why you started in the first place.


Relationships Matter:

Perlman told many antidotes about the people who have helped him in his success. From his violin teacher who would guilt him into doing his scales, to his wife who built and runs the “Perlman Music Program”, to his friend who helped him procure the best violin on the market. All of these people have contributed to Perlman’s success. This serves as a reminder that who you work with is as important as your work ethic. Our class has followed this advice and developed a vetting process for non-profits in order to ensure we work with the best. It also reminded me how lucky I am to work with the other 16’s in my class. And of course, after you develop good relationships, you have to maintain them. This is something Perlman did by calling his boyhood violin teacher before big concerts. We should work just as hard as he did to maintain our relationships, especially since we have had issues with this in the past. Following Perlman’s example will promote our class’ success through better and stronger relationships.

I Should Listen to More Classical Music:

Perlman played a few songs for us, and it was beautiful. I was awed. My classmates sitting around me were enthralled. I thought one of them wiped away a tear….. Don’t believe me? Check out his final performance at Elon. In all seriousness, this guy is talented and his craft is under appreciated by my age group. I’m committed to learning more about classical music after Convocation, or at least, listening to it more. And you should too.  Or at least, watch another video of Perlman at Elon.

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Class of 2016 Update for 9/29/15

Today we heard the results from the Hope for Honduran Children committee regarding the alumni giving commitment which would essentially commit us, as Pericleans, to donating $100 each per year after graduation. This money would go to helping support H4HC and would be tracked by Morgan Abate as the Periclean of the Year.  We surveyed the class so that each person could anonymously express their approval of this plan. 19 class members said yes to giving for 3 years, 17 said yes to giving for 5 years, and half said yes to giving for 10 years. The committee will decide where we should go from here.

Morgan Abate also gave a presentation today on her experience in Ecuador last semester with an organization called La Fundacion El Arenal. It is run by indigenous women from outside of the city and it hosts impoverished children from ages 5-15. The goals of the organization are to help the children with their homework while also creating a daily routine for the children which includes time for homework, recreation, snack and cleaning responsibilities. Many of these children come from a poor family life including physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Morgan also discussed some problems associated with short and long term volunteers that came to the foundation. Specifically, she talked about complications with volunteers from UNC Charlotte who were non-Spanish speakers, first year students, and only there for three days. She felt that their involvement may have been more destructive for the students than constructive. The foundation also required mandatory health and nutrition based workshops for the parents of these students.

We had many announcements today including an update on the Elevator speech, which Arianna and Caroline are working on. We were reminded to attend Celebrating Periclean, and the LUPE committee conveyed that they will be inviting those women to attend. We decided that next week’s class will be at Peacehaven, a farm that Christian is involved with. We also decided that, rather than having class on 10/20, all will be required to attend the deliberative discussion on immigration in McKinnon. April has RSVP’d to this event on behalf of our class. We also talked about the Faith ID program bill which, Morgan and Anna relayed, is likely to pass through Congress. This bill will block these ID’s from being valid. LUPE is having a rally to protest this bill and it would be nice to have our class attend to show our support and also to have some non-hispanic faces. Finally, those who are interested in going on the Honduras trip in January need to update April on their status in this decision process.

We ended with committee updates. The P3 committee is still working on getting speakers and are in contact with a number of businesses. Anna and Caroline found a keynote speaker who they think would be perfect, Sean Humphrey, so they want the classes approval to continue communication with him. We would likely also offer him some money to come and speak. Other things for the P3 committee to be working on include: solidifying the lunch options at the summit, deciding if vendors will be able to sell goods at the summit, establishing when people will be able to begin registering for the summit. It seems that the main challenge they face right now is getting businesses to come and speak.

The fundraising committee made $535 last week in Cookies-to-Go-Go. They sold 700 cookies to 140 people, which is more than double what they did last year. In their committee meeting, they talked about setting the date for the next Cookies-to-Go-Go which will likely be November 11th. They also talked about ways to improve and make this better.

The LUPE committee was very busy this week. They met with Blanca Sunday night to talk about a grant, they also did tutoring this past week and went to two LUPE board members houses. Anna and Abby are meeting with Suyapa and Miriam to discuss another tutoring program; however, Anna and Abby will have to relay that we currently do not have the capacity to support another program. They are going to suggest some other organizations that may be able to help them such as EV.

H4HC will ahve the conversation this week about the proposal for the post-graduation funding initiative and come back to the class with what they have decided.

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2016 Cookies to Go Go

This week the 2016’s brought back our favorite fundraiser- Cookies to Go Go- and had the most successful night to date with a landslide.

We have been delivering fresh baked cookies around campus for one night a semester since our sophomore year and have had consistent success with it. Last April, we reached a new goal when we raised just over $300 in one night and sold 384 cookies. We are proud to announce that our record was once again broken, and this time, we hit it out of the park. We doubled our sales, baked 720 cookies, and delivered to 104 people in just one night.

We had an amazing team as each member of our class pitched in baking cookies and frantically delivering the orders to get them in on time. We never expected to have so much support from the Elon community and even had to shut our ordering site down early because of the overwhelming amount of love (and study munchies) Elon students had.

It was a great night of bonding as a class and celebrating the huge success we had. We are thrilled to see something we built two years ago grow into such a successful event for our class. We are so proud to be Periclean.

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Class of ’17 update!

After a few rather challenging class sessions, it seems we made significant strides during our meeting time this week! As we are getting into our second full year, we’re realizing that the Periclean journey is packed with highs and lows, so it is always encouraging to feel like we’re making headway. We started the class period by heading over to the Job & Internship Expo to sign in and raise $100! In similar news, we have stepped up our fundraising game- we had our car wash last weekend and will have a bake sale next week (see date/time below!!) In addition to fundraisers, we’re working on finding and applying for grants that will provide a greater contribution for our efforts.

We spent the majority of this class discussing our contribution to the Ekamba Community Gardening project, how to get more involved with Loy Farm, and then learning about Grow Biointensive. Since most of us were not previously agriculture experts, it is important that we learn as much as we can now! We need to fully understand the process that we want to encourage and support in Namibia. In order to do that, we have decided to watch tutorial videos and read up on the steps that Grow Biointensive uses for sustainable farming.

We are also using our class time next week to actually go to Loy Farm! We’re exploring the possibility of a stronger partnership there, so we’re checking it out as a class next week. We also spent part of this class period brainstorming next steps and how to form a local partner. It seemed, to me, like a class session that moved us in a good direction and helped us understand what we need to do next!

After conversation with a few of my peers after class this week, we’ve come to a similar conclusion/understanding that it is time for us all to step up our game. We are collectively gaining more confidence about our idea and slowly figuring out our next steps, but there is absolutely plenty of research and work for every member of our class to do! We all have different strengths and interests, and we’re learning how to form a more cohesive and productive unit.

Peace, Love, Periclean! Stop by our table in Moseley from 11:00-5:00 next Wednesday to grab some baked goods and learn about food insecurity in Namibia and the effects sustainable agriculture can have!

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Class of 2017 Update: September 15th, 2015

Hello all! This past weekend two members of the 2017 Periclean Class, Kelsey and Christian drove to Durham, NC and met with the Redwood Group to learn a bit about their business and how they work on and evaluate grants. Snaps to Kelsey and Christian for taking the time to go visit our friends at the Redwood Group! Also, snaps to Caila for taking on the role of Treasurer for our class while Mel is abroad!

During this class period we worked together to make some more strides in the development of our project, tied up some lose ends and solidified a few details for our fundraiser this weekend.
The past couple of weeks we have been talking about working a total of 10-30 hours a week as a class at the Loy Farm to practice the idea of sustainable development and today we voted to commit to work those hours for the rest of the year. This is an exciting development for our class because it ties back to Grow Biointensive, the organization we would like to bring to Namibia to help us implement our project.
After voting to work on the Loy Farm, we read over the proposal to fund the Ekamba Community Gardening Project. The implementation of this project would allow for the creation of a fresh community garden that would benefit a community of 38 people. The estimates on the proposal said that the entirety of this project could be fulfilled with $2,000 U.S. Although our class would not have the opportunity to actually work on the implementation of this project, we decided to provide half of the funds to make this gardening project a reality for the Ekamba community due to its ties to sustainable development.
Finally, in class we solidified all of the details for the Periclean Car Wash we will be holding this Saturday as a fundraiser. If your car is in need of a good washing, come to the Kangaroo this Saturday from 10AM-1PM for a car wash! It’s only $5, and we are better than Oscar and Angie!!! So come support us at the car wash! Hope to see you there!
Peace, Love, Periclean.
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2016 Update

This week in Periclean.. we celebrated Dia de Independencia by sending our friends in Honduras a greeting (: We also went to the fiesta hosted by El Centro! There was great music and company! But of course, it wasn’t just a fiesta for the entire class.

Currently, we are working in our committees to get various tasks done. We are excited to be collaborating with LASO and El Centro to make sure our efforts with LUPE are sustainable. We are also in the process of finding speakers, companies, etc. for our very exciting business summit happening in February!

We are also planning the class trip to Honduras for this winter term. We are excited that our trip has been approved because it has been a lot of work! We have various members of the class who are interested in going to Honduras and spending time with our partner Hope for Honduran Children!

Cookies to go-go is back! Keep an eye out for when cookie orders begin so you can all get some delicious, warm cookies, while also supporting Periclean!

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The Dawn Of Our Senior Year

Yesterday, the senior Pericleans met again to strive towards making this year the best one yet.

After having completed our individual SMART goals the previous week, we heard from each committee on what they are hoping to accomplish and move forward with during this semester.

We are excited to begin work on our final elevator speech.  It should be launched in time for Celebrating Pericleans coming up in October.

The planning for our event to be held in February – People, Planet, Profit- is well under way with trendy logos, t-shirts, and speakers being decided upon. It’s all looking awesome!

The LUPE committee is doing wonderful work to find a sustainable volunteer base to support the organization after our cohort walks across the stage in May.  We are looking for a group or organization that is able to keep up with this growing program.

Finally, the Hope for Honduran Children committee is researching fundraising ideas, grants, and more to help support the dorm/training center being built to allow for more boys in the program.  We have some creative ideas on the table and can’t wait to choose and get to planning!

We are thrilled about the way things are moving so far this semester and anticipating another wonderful and successful year!


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’16s: Hitting the Ground Running

This past week, the Periclean Class of 2016 has been making strides towards having a very productive start to our senior year. We have each decided our individual SMART goals, which include what literature we will read, what types of writing we will do, how we will connect with our partners, and how we will contribute to the pan-Periclean community. Similarly, each committee in our class has met, discussed the group goals for the semester as well, so we’re organized and ready for the next few months of hard work.
Currently we are deciding for which large project of Hope for Honduran Children we will choose to fundraise, and how to raise that money. We are also solidifying what our other partnerships will look like this semester, or how exactly we will be involved. For example, the committee for our local partnership, Latinoamericanos Unidos Para la Esperanza, is working with the organization to create an ESL curriculum to make the program more sustainable. Also, the People, Planet, Profit committee is looking for vendors and speakers for the February 20th business summit.

We’re ready for this new year of progress, community, and learning!

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Return Excitement

At this point in our Periclean careers, we have come to expect that our best-laid plans will fall apart the most and our smallest plans can become our greatest accomplishments. From each of these we have become more resilient and become better through self-reflection.
Our first day back was no exception. We were thrown right back into discussions of our partnerships, both locally and in Honduras. Our committees got right to work with planning and feasibility discussions. But to set the tone for the day we began no other way than with some imparted wisdom from none other than Dr. Tom Arcaro himself. Dr. Arcaro led with updates ranging from the exciting news that our Periclean Winter Term class has been approved as an upper level GST to the reforms to the class syllabi and our class identity. In terms of the Syllabus, Periclean is moving towards a more formal tone and inclusion of 9 core principles, with each class embodying a theme:
• Sophomore Theme: letter writing to elected officials
• Junior Theme: grant writing
• Senior Theme: putting it all together, organizing SURF sessions for producing research and arguments
After this update on the Periclean program at large, we came back to our committees and the work of each of the 4 groups: Summit in Honduras, Hope for Honduran Children, LUPE, and People, Planet, Profit

Summit in Honduras
Updates from each were shared from the Summit in Honduras committee regarding our recent separation from our partner and the address of communication, next steps and alternative projects.

Hope for Honduran Children
We are working towards a feasible project with the NGO and partner, proposition of a transition home expansion project and sustainable sponsorship of sending a Honduran student to Elon for a semester. The class will reflect and decide the following class.

Casey and Anna have developed an ESL class in which students can volunteer at LUPE and have created an incredible pre-planned lessons guide for these volunteers. Way to go ladies!! The committee attended a board meeting for the program and relayed passionate excitement along with many ideas for the programs future including summer camps and their own space. The committee will continue to focus on grant writing and youth development.

People, Planet, Profit
The committee has been hard at work on both programming as well as outreach. The event blurb has been included in the Spring Cultural calendar and 2 grants from the Love School of Business and Fund for Excellence Grant have been awarded! Additionally, registration and event media has been in the works including a live website and promotional materials.

It has been an exciting first day back and with so much to accomplish and work toward this year, we are eager to return to our commitments as Periclean Scholars in our Capstone year.

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Andddddddddd We’re Back!

Earlier today, the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 was reunited once again!  (Well most of us were, as we have 10 members of our cohort abroad this semester in locations all around the world, from the bustling streets of China to the golden beaches of Brazil)  Additionally, Annie Phelan returned to the group after spending the spring abroad in Europe!

The class itself began with stories from the summer.  Highlights included backpacking trips around the country, enriching internships, and entertaining stories from summer jobs.  Director Arcaro also stopped in to update the class on Periclean opportunities and on the program in general.  Following this, we had a class-wide discussion about goals for the semester, selected class representatives, and worked to form our committees, committees that were then tasked with working on these goals.  After our committee meetings, where each individual committee set particular benchmarks for the fall, we concluded the day with talks of potential fundraising events and other projects to pursue for the semester.  Though there is much to accomplish, Tuesday’s class provided the framework for what will hopefully be an extremely productive semester.


Peace.  Love.  Periclean.


The Periclean Scholars Class of 2017



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