Teens, adults challenge themselves to look within | SierraSun.com

Teens, adults challenge themselves to look within

Nearly 150 local students, teachers, and community members gathered last weekend to breakdown stereotypes and foster new relationships.Challenge Day, a nonprofit organization that helps people connect through community and school programs, visited Sierra Mountain Middle School on Friday and Saturday to address the issues facing today’s society and to encourage students to be the change they wish to see in their schools.School board member Mel Cone was in attendance on both days and said that the transformations he witnessed will be deep and lasting. This was his third year attending the program, which he says is successful because of its ability to get under the skin and into the soul.”I saw some individuals that were the schools power-broker bullies come up and actually apologize to as many as three or four individuals,” Cone said. “And there were teachers there that didn’t realize what some of their students were struggling through.”I don’t know of very many people that were not affected by this experience,” Cone added.A group of four freshmen from Truckee High all agreed that one of the most challenging parts of the day were the uncomfortable situations they found themselves in, such as sharing life stories with perfect strangers and publicly admitting past wrong doings. “I cried myself out,” said freshman Jasmine Clark. “The whole thing was really emotional, but it helped you get inside yourself and release tension and feelings.”In the days following the event, the group said that they have seen transformations in their peers who attended, including one young man in particular who they described as mean and quick to judge. The youth was so impacted on Friday that he pulled multiple enemies aside to make amends, then encouraged his parents to attend on Saturday.”There were quite a few miracles that happened this weekend,” said Rich Dutra-St. John, Challenge Day chairman and co-founder. “Lives were changed.”

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