Posted by Paige Webley on Nov 01, 2018
A wise woman once told me, “do your little bit of good where you are dear. That’s all you can do.” And I remember thinking, “what if I can do more than a little bit of good? Shouldn’t I try to impact my friends, family, community... the world?” And how?
 At that time I was heavily involved in our community volunteering for CASA, World Relief, and Horizon Hospice. I had recently graduated with a BA in International Affairs (‘13) from Eastern Washington University and I was also working in their Office of Global Initiatives advising students on studying abroad. I was completely satisfied with the impact I was making in our community. But one day, at EWU, I was researching scholarships to suggest to students, and I found the Rotary International Peace Fellowship. No student that came through my office qualified, and neither did I, but I started to envision a way in which I could meet the scholarship’s requirements and how I could impact our world community by studying an MA in Peace and Conflict Resolution. That was four years ago.
Honestly, I never knew if, or how, my desire to impact our world community would come to pass. After having spent the last four years in Palestine trying to build peace and justice educational programming, as well as human rights programming in a protracted conflict zone, and really failing at many points, it was very difficult for me to envision what more I could offer. Then I remembered the Rotary Peace Fellowship and the stories of past Fellows and what an impact they had made in their communities came to mind. And I remembered my vision, from four years ago, to one day be a conflict mediator, peace researcher and teacher. And I realized, I can do this! I can continue to advance world understanding and peace! Let me just apply… 
 
Looking back, I have continued to do my “little bit of good” where I’m at and it has culminated into this incredible opportunity. But if it wasn’t for the RPF, and its existence, as a first-generation college student... my dreams, my aspirations, they might not have been so large. This opportunity challenged me to dream of how I could impact world understanding and peace. And I thank Rotary wholeheartedly for providing it. 
 
My name is Paige Webley. I’m from District 5080 and I’m a newly selected 2019 ROTARY PEACE FELLOW.