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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — It wasn’t long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when Gretchen Grad got started on Hands for Peace, a peace-building program she founded in 2002 centered around youth engagement.

Grad said the program brings high school students from the Middle-East to Chicago to meet, talk, and bond with the teens here in the United States.

Many of students who arrive in the U.S., she said, come from areas that are deeply divided by conflict, culture, geography, and history. A majority of the teens are from Palestine and Israel.