Scientist and activist Dr. Jane Goodall, who is known for her landmark studies of chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, was a guest of Seven Arrows Elementary School on September 28.
More than 500 students in kindergarten through high school from Seven Arrows and other schools were invited to gather at Simon Meadow, in Temescal Gateway Park, not only to honor Goodall, but to hear her words of inspiration.
There, Goodall told the students “you cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make,” Goodall said and pointed out that “Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world.”
Goodall started working with chimpanzees in 1960, when she was 26. She was able to prove that chimpanzees have personalities and profound intelligence, which challenged existing ideas about what separated us from other animals. Her insights transformed the scientific landscape and shaped an understanding globally that all living creatures are connected and that respect for all life on Earth is the key to protecting the world we all share.
She first visited Seven Arrows, a kindergarten through sixth grade school, in 1994 and school founder, Margarita Pagliai, who was inspired by Goodall, created a curriculum with an emphasis on science and humanity. Seven Arrows students now participate in at least one Ethical Leadership Project prior to their graduation. These projects support causes related to conservation, animal preservation, and peace.
Twenty-eight years later, Seven Arrows is now partnering with Goodall and her Roots & Shoots youth program.
“We are honored to welcome back Dr. Jane Goodall to Seven Arrows and touched that she entrusted our school to create a Los Angeles-wide community event including children from public and private schools throughout the city,” Pagliai said. “Inspiring hope through action is the essence of her legacy. She is a beacon of light for all of us, guiding and inspiring us to harness the power within to make a difference in the world around us. She reminds us that every individual matters and each one of us makes a difference”
The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community-centered conservation organization founded in 1977 that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. (visit: janegoodall.org or @janegoodallinst).
Roots & Shoots is a global youth-powered program of the Jane Goodall Institute led by young people (and educators) who want to make a difference in their communities. (visit: rootsandshoots.org and @RootsAndShoots). Youth can sign up for free to become members of Roots & Shoots. That website has numerous projects that individuals can perform. There are also ideas for community projects.
“Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love,” Goodall said and added, “Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
In addition to Seven Arrows, schools attending included The Accelerated School, SG Jung, Crossroads, Frostig, Katella High School, Le Lycee Francais, New Roads, SoLa Impact, Pasadena High School, Wildwood, Windward, Brentwood, Loyola, Kinetic Academy Charter, Carson Street Elementary, Alfred B. Nobel Charter Middle School and Ocean Charter.
Additional attendees included members of the Palisades Forestry Committee, TreePeople, Bio Citizen L.A. the Palisades-Malibu YMCA, World Space Foundation, Resilient Palisades and Cleaner Greener Whittier.
This is incredible! I wish I had known she was visiting our Simon Meadows. Jane is an inspiration, and I have always admired her. To think she was just a few blocks from where I live this week speaking to the children in our community. I’m thrilled that she is sharing such pearls of wisdom with our youth and continuing to inspire. How blessed are we to live in the Palisades!!! Thank you Seven Arrows for bringing Jane to our home.