Peace & Justice Students Advance to Destination Imagination’s Global Finals

Casey Gibson, Johnny Jones, Madeline Cameron, Evelyn Askew, Kayla Rice and Baileigh Sorensen are all smiles after their 3rd Place win at the state level.

On March 29 at a regional tournament in Riverside, The Peace & Justice Academy became the only Pasadena high school to win the right to attend this year’s Destination Imagination’s Global Finals in May in Knoxville, TN.

After winning honors for creativity, teamwork and problem solving in local, state and regional tournaments, the team – self-titled PAJApocalypse – is poised to take on the world! Team members Madeline Cameron, Casey Gibson, Johnny Jones, Kayla Rice, Baileigh Sorensen and Evelyn Askew placed third and are eligible to compete against some 1,250 teams from around the world!

Once a team decides to participate, they choose one long-term challenge from a standards-based list – Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Structural or Service Learning – and begin to work on solving it, using a well-defined creative process. The PAJA students started working on their solution in September. Part of the emphasis in developing the team is discovering and then using team member strengths. The second part of the competition involves an instant challenge and each team only has five to eight minutes to come up with a solution. “We were surprised at how well we did, since this was our first year competing,” said volunteer coach Susan Cameron.

“I think we have an advantage in that we are used to working as a team…it’s something we already do a lot of at our school,” said senior Madeline Cameron (no relation to Susan). Core to PAJA’s experiential learning model is teaching skills that will enable students to work on solving the world’s problems. Destination Imagination has done much the same thing for over three decades.

The Peace & Justice Academy is composed of a Middle School and the nation’s first Interfaith High School.

The Peace & Justice Academy, 2033 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 345-0504 or visit



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