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Gio Toval: The Future of Global Peace Exchange

Giovan Toval is the newly elected co-director (alongside Brittney Alfaro) of Global Peace Exchange, an on-campus service organization founded in 2006. The club promotes international development by fundraising to send our very own students abroad on volunteering trips. They work on everything from teaching English to rehabilitating wildlife. Through GPE, students have represented FSU on service trips to Cambodia, Nepal, Haiti, Peru, Ghana, and Rwanda!

I spoke to Gio about what GPE means to him, how he got involved, and what students on-campus can expect later this semester!

Courtesy: Global Peace Exchange 

Her Campus (HC): How would you sum up you and your co-directors mission for GPE?

Gio Toval (GT):  Sustainability. Global Peace Exchange is a great opportunity for students who want to travel or study abroad, but don’t have the financial means to do so. We want to promote GPE as a study abroad alternative as a method of keeping GPE sustainable.

HC: How did you get involved with GPE?

GT: By stopping by our table at the involvement fair! I was immediately drawn in by the stories about students that had been able to travel with us in the past to places like Ghana and Nepal.

HC: GPE has both social and service opportunities which are not something you get in every club! What’s your favorite aspect of being in GPE?

GT: The truly unforgettable opportunities that it provides for us students to learn and grow as people. Those that were fortunate enough to travel with GPE in the past can attest to the fact that these are once-in-a-lifetime trips.

HC: What awesome opportunities are you and GPE working towards right now?

GT: We’ve done a variety of fundraisers this year—our bake sale, restaurant share-it-nights, social and intercultural events—because we’re currently working on a project with Clinic Nepal. It’s this non-profit organization founded by Hari Bhandari, a Nepal native who grew frustrated with the education and healthcare system in the country and took it upon himself to do something about it. GPE has a strong relationship with Clinic Nepal. We’ve been partners since 2013. We have several students already set to participate again this summer including myself and my co-director Brittney! We’ll be teaching English skills to locals and working with the Clinic Nepal scout troop to teach leadership and cooperation skills to the youth community.

HC: What about more fundraisers? What’s the next GPE event we can contribute to?

GT: On April 6, GPE will be hosting Jam for Peace, our 4th annual benefit concert! This year it will be at Railroad Square on First Friday, next to the Mickee Faust Club over at Schnittman Hall. The event is open to all members of the community. There will be live music as well as a kids’ station, food, and a silent auction for attendees. All the proceeds will go towards funding our project with Clinic Nepal this summer.

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