Breaking down teen barriers |

Breaking down teen barriers

Maintaining self-esteem presents numerous challenges ” especially for teens.

Everyone holds an opinion, and some choose to express theirs in a negative way. Qualifications for being socially acceptable are completely subjective. At times, individuals choose powerful words and actions that are often at the expense of other people’s feelings. Learning how to deal with setbacks and issues involving social acceptance is often disheartening and challenging.

To help deal with the teenage dilemma, community volunteers, employees of the school district, nonprofit organizations, and other individuals put together Challenge Day. This special day of workshops, discussions, and activities promotes support for teens dealing with acceptance issues. Empowering alliance for them promotes positive environments and behaviors where social barriers are ultimately broken down.

The vision behind Challenge Day is for every child to live in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated.

This event intends to inspire people to be the change they hope for the world that ultimately benefits the planet and its people. Both teens and adults are encouraged to be the driving force in creating the school of their dreams.

Challenge Day is happening on Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24. Two one-day workshops at Sierra Mountain Middle School will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Youth, teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, and members of our community will gather to learn how to break down walls of separation. All participants become positive forces in the community by promoting self-acceptance and esteem.

On Friday, students from North Tahoe and Tahoe Truckee high schools are invited to participate. Organizers expect 100-125 students. All interested students need parent approval to miss class in the form of a permission slip. All members of the Tahoe-Truckee community are invited on Saturday. Please call in advance to let organizers know how many people to expect.

Approximately 10-20 adult community volunteers are needed to help with the execution of Challenge Day. Interested individuals should plan to arrive at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. Please contact the following organizers: Sarah Dorland at 582-2517 or; or Stacie Creps at 550-9506 or For more information on Challenge Day and its programs, go to

Vicki Isacowitz is a secondary English teacher who has been educating students since 1996. Her column runs every other Friday in the Sierra Sun. She is co-founder of Clever Minds Educational Services, providing tutoring for students in grades K-12. For more information, or to comment on her column, call 582-1707 or e-mail:

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