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Joshua Wortham earns PeaceJam’s Hero Award, attends peace summit in Mexico

MADISON – Joshua Wortham received the Hero Award from PeaceJam International and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and represented the United State at a peace summit in Mexico.

Wortham is a junior at James Clemens High School.

PeaceJam, a global youth organization, has 14 Nobel Peace Laureates as leaders and role models. The organization supports a generation of future Nobel Peace Laureates. (peacejam.org)

Nobel Peace Laureates have influenced history worldwide . . . from ending wars, fighting child labor to defending free speech. Youth like Wortham can participate in the Billion Acts of Peace Campaign that develops service-learning projects and world-changing campaigns.

Wortham was introduced to Peacejam at Peacebuilder’s Camp. “I learned how to formulate my platform for human-rights advocacy. I learned about Nobel Peace Prize winners; hearing their stories lit a fire in me,” he said. “We can easily co-exist if we all have the same goals of empathy and peace.”

Marilyn McGinnis, Director of Peacebuilder’s Camp, nominated Wortham for the Hero Award. Wortham submitted the required “act of peace.” His “Coexist with Cookies” campaign focuses on his Peaceful Pastries and Sweets Bakery that he founded as a 10-year-old to raise funds to attend Peacebuilder’s Camp.

Coexist with Cookies gathers diverse people that can connect with one minor concept, love of cookies. Wortham models acceptance by accepting bakery orders from everyone – Republicans, Democrats, police officers, veterans, LGBTQ people, rich/poor and all races/religions.

“I was humbled when I received the Hero Award and honored . . . to meet so many peace-promoters throughout the world,” he said. “ . . . the experience of a lifetime being flown to Merida, Mexico, attending the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and Global Climate March.” He served as U.S. summit ambassador in 2020 and 2021.

“It was neat seeing peace giants wearing shorts and flipflops and just hanging with us. I also loved being immersed in Merida’s colorful culture,” Wortham said.

At James Clemens, Wortham participates with competition marching, jazz and Wind Ensemble bands. He was accepted in All-State Band, All-State Orchestra and rated ‘superior’ at Solo and Ensemble. He earned “Freshman Musician of the Year” and worked as Madison Music Camp counselor.

In 2020, he ranked in “Top 100 Students at JCHS,” based on character and academics. This year, he serves in SGA. While attending James Clemens, Wortham has earned all A’s.

For college, his top interests are Vanderbilt, Auburn and Montevallo. He wants to work as a high school counselor, band director or elementary teacher.

His parents are William and Rebecca Wortham, bakery owners and conductors of Madison City Youth Orchestra. William also decorates cakes commercially.

Joshua is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Madison stake.

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