Sep 8, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT
Jeb Brovsky plays midfield for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a major league soccer team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also is the founder of Peace Pandemic, an organization that uses youth soccer camps to teach nonviolence and promote social justice.
Jeb founded Peace Pandemic as a junior at the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in business management and peace studies, pursued a concentration in entrepreneurship, and played varsity soccer. While taking the peace studies course “Peacemaking in Divided Societies,” taught by Kroc Institute professor John Darby, he learned about the thousands of children in war-torn countries who are forced to become soldiers.
“This touched my heart, and I wanted to react in a positive way,” says Jeb, a native of Lakewood, Colorado. “I eventually realized I could use soccer as a new avenue for peace.”
Peace Pandemic organizes soccer camps across North America, using the funds it generates to coordinate rotating camps in conflict-affected countries. The organization’s first international camp will take place in Tanzania in fall 2011, and a camp has been scheduled in Israel for 2012. In the future, Jeb hopes to coordinate Peace Pandemic camps in Guatemala, Nepal, and Nicaragua.
“Soccer is a boundary crosser,” he says. “In nearly every country, kids on the street are playing this game and they respond to this game.” Peace Pandemic camps aim to get kids excited about the game, but also to teach them about resolving conflict nonviolently and being responsible members of their homes and communities, Jeb says.
Jeb became interested in peace after being exposed to violence as a child. On the day of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, he was a fourth-grade student at the elementary school next door to the high school. Four of Jeb’s neighbors, including his next-door neighbor, were killed that day.
“Trying make sense of that experience was very difficult, but it made me want to change my surroundings for the better,” Jeb says.
As he launches his soccer career, Jeb plans to use his professional athlete status as a tool for social change.
“Athletes have a lot of pull in their communities,” Jeb says. “It would be foolish of me not to take advantage of that for a good reason.
“It’s been my dream to get to this level – and to blend my passion for soccer with my passion for peace.”
About Irish United
- M. Ice Hockey. Slaggert And St. Cyr Win Gold With Team USA U18’s
- W. Tennis. Inside Irish ACC Championship First Round: Pittsburgh
- M. Tennis. Hagar Snares ACC Player Of The Week Honors
- Baseball. Crusaders Venture To The Eck
- Softball. Irish Resume With Wildcats In Evanston
- M. Lacrosse. Wynne Receives ACC Player Of The Week Honors
- M. Ice Hockey. Bjork And Petersen Share MVP Honors
- W. Tennis. Irish Drop Season Finale To Clemson, 6-1
- M. Tennis. Hagar Provides A Bright Spot In 5-2 Loss To Wake Forest
- Softball. Virginia Sweeps Irish With 10-6 Sunday Win
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- Goals! Goals! Goals! See all of the goals we scored this Spring & come to Alumni on Friday to catch us vs. Mexico!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 4 hours ago
- Thank you to every one who gave and voted for us on #NDday! We ended up 4th in Athletics with 669 votes! Thank you! notredameday.nd.edu/campaigns/wome… 6 hours ago
- RT @NDMonogram: NCAA Champion🏆 3 Olympic Gold Medals🥇🥇🥇 World Cup Champion🏆 ☘️@Shannon Boxx (‘99 ⚽️) is our spring Monogram Jacket Ceremon… 6 hours ago
- RT @NotreDameSWD: Hey SA's, want to make the most out of your opportunities at ND? Come talk to @NDMenSoccer alum, Grant Van De Casteele Th… 3 hours ago
- A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated and voted for Men's Soccer this past week! We finished second in athletics… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 5 hours ago
- RT @NotreDameSWD: Ever wonder how our 2017 O.S.C.A.R.S hosts are preparing for the show on Thur, May 4th? Cross training of course! 🍀⚽️➡️🏒… 5 hours ago