On Sunday, Nov 17th, 2019, we partnered with Bring Change to Mind (a mental-health focused non-profit geared to high school students) to build an all day workshop for 60 High School students from 24 Los Angeles schools. The goal was to provide the students with a day of love and healing while also equipping them with leadership tools to bring home to their own communities and schools. This event came on the heels of another tragic shooting at a Southern California school, and we were able to invite students leaders from Saugus HS and the William S. Hart School District, to participate in the workshop process as well.
We started the day by having every student say a word or thought that they needed to “put out in the world;” we had volunteers put these words on sticky notes and decorate the space with the students notes of resilience and love. After this, the students created floral arrangements for themselves and for loved ones, all while communing and conversing with their fellow leaders from around the city.
Once this meditation was finished, the student completed their final activity of the day, painting. Using canvas boards, they each designed their own mantra to inspire themselves during difficult days in the future. When all the boards were finished, they were displayed around the room and we all walked the space, noting the physical transformation through their personal creations, learning about each other.
As part of the closing ceremony, the students brainstormed individualized goals for the year together, and road-mapped how to get there. Not only did this workshop bring the students more mental clarity in their leadership journey into the next year, but it provided the community building required to bring real change in their future.