Be the Change You Want to See

West Bloomfield High School’s Experience From Challenge Day

Be+the+Change+You+Want+to+See+

Challenge Day, held on December 2, 3 and 4 of 2013, was a unique opportunity held at West Bloomfield High School for all students to open up about their inner selves. Students broke out of their shell and released feelings, experiences, and pain. Challenge Day offers a no- judgement zone and it allows students to realize judgment is not okay. Everyone has their own struggles that are rarely visible. This causes a battle between appearances vs. reality; therefore you should not judge people because of how things look or their outside appearance. When asked what is the challenge in challenge day? Mr. Joshua Johnson, teacher, said, “Overcoming stereotypes that exist in a typical American school that prevent students being and truly expressing themselves.

This day was an inspiration to everyone to become a better person. Bullying is not worth it and judging someone by their appearances is not at all acceptable. Junior Michael King said,” I learned from Challenge Day not to judge people by the way they look.” During the day many tears hit the floor with the thought of lost love ones, mistakes that happened, and their troubles in life. Participants learn that when people stop talking about each other and start listening to each other the impossible becomes possible. That was the goal for Challenge Day. Another significant element of Challenge Day was exploring and dismantling the social segregation of high school students. Michael King, junior, says “After Challenge Day I learned everyone has the same thing in common which are trials and tribulations. No one is above the other based on what is worn or how much money is in your pockets”. Grant Bingham, sophomore, says “My perspective has changed about people.” Challenge Day leaders make sure each student leaves the room inspired to be the change they wish to see in the world, starting with themselves.  Students were given tools to create change through compassion and service using the formula for change – NOTICE, CHOOSE, and ACT!

The vision of Challenge Day is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated. The mission is to provide the youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth and full expression. Teacher Mrs. Allison Davis  said, “300 students attended Challenge Day. The purpose of Challenge Day is to build student awareness and understanding for each other’s differences and similarities.  To build cohesiveness. To unite and increase student friendliness.” Challenge Day has changed students’ view on judgment and bullying. It has made people feel better about them and build confidence within them. Teacher Ms. Kelly Tyranski said, “students should realize that there are more similarities than there are differences.”

Challenge Day has touched people who were not even a part of the experience. The impact was so huge that it had the hallways filled with talk. Mrs. Lisa Graff, counselor, said, “Being on the outside as an organizer, I saw amazing engagement between the students. I love Challenge Day because it was experiential and a great way for kids to open up. I was amazed at how the students interacted with each other. ” This day came with a lot of favorites. Whether it was lifting the load off your shoulders, letting some tears out, or laughing, everyone was changed. Every person who entered the gym doors on challenge day has been changed. Mr. Hunt said “my favorite part of Challenge Day was working in small groups and getting to her each student’s story. It gave us insights to their lives.” Principal, Tom Shelton concluded by saying, “We will evaluate whether or not Challenge Day changes things at West Bloomfield by observing students mixing with different people and describing and showing new attitudes.

To learn more about challenge day visit www.challengeday.com