Dear David Krieger,

My name is Amber Herman and I am a senior in high school in Davenport, Iowa.

My friends do not understand why I would rather read books on social justice issues and peace instead of attending the basketball game. They don’t understand why I am outraged that the United States has not signed the UN Convention’s Rights of the Child. They don’t understand why Craig Kielburger and you are my heroes when they praise Michael Jordan as a star. They don’t understand that we, the youth, are called to be the leaders of TODAY when they feel so powerless.

They do understand that I have a passion for humanity. They hear the words I speak against violence. Although they do not understand. . . they are curious. They wonder what fuels my spirit to bring an end to war and poverty.

All I ask of my peers is to simply contemplate the question: What If they could change the world? That is the question that Craig Kielburger and my Social Justice teacher asked me. I realized how big a world there was outside my high school, my community, and my country. I still dared to believe I could make a positive difference.

Your speech “Hope in the Face of Darkness” was amazing! Tears were streaming down my face as I read about your passion for humanity and your words about hope. Everything I believe about Youth Empowerment you so beautifully described.

I am only one person but I have the power to light the fire of peace within others. I am only one person but I have knowledge, faith and more importantly I have HOPE! At National Catholic Youth Conference this past December, a teenager who lost her father on September 11th stood before 24,000 youth from around the country stating: “I came here looking for hope. You all are my hope.”

I plan to attend Iowa State University and study Dairy Science and International Agriculture. I hope to join researchers in third-world countries to teach the people better agriculture techniques. I also look forward to a career as a public speaker for human rights, especially children. I have already started speaking to youth groups in my area.

I hope to someday attend a conference on social justice/peace issues. I am currently trying to save money for college and financially cannot afford to attend a summer conference. Until I can, I will continue to educate myself and others.

You dared to believe peace was possible. Because of you, thousands of youth across the world dare to believe too. Thank you. God bless.


Amber Herman