The majority of these students were diversity workshop facilitators, the others were participants.: Left to right: (back row) Tyler Biddulph, Sydney Wilhelmy, Gina Marjanovic, Mr. Brookholt, Amaris Velez, Era Bakia, Emelia Cormier, Jason Melnick, Jessica Haklaj, and Nikena Norris; (front row): Sydney Heckeler, Tully Worron, Mckenzie Smith, and Taylor Kocian.
While most of our students enjoyed October 12 as a welcome day off from school, more than 15 students spent their day leading an anti-bullying workshop that focused on students embracing each other's diversity.
The dozen LHS facilitators were trained to be workshop facilitators a week earlier by the Cleveland Leadership Center and Dare2Care. At the October 12 workshop, they put their training to the test as they facilitated small group discussions and activities with students from a mix of nine public and private schools from across Northeast Ohio.
The Dare2Care workshop is a component of the Look Up To Cleveland (LookUp) program of the Cleveland Leadership Center. LookUp is a civic education and leadership development program that teaches high school students about their community, local social and economic issues, and helps them appreciate diversity.
The student facilitators led their peers in examining themselves, their relationships and their school communities in order to eventually develop a plan to reduce bullying in their schools. Each school also had educators and administrators receive training on how they can lead anti-bullying efforts among their colleagues and support students. The LHS group was led by Chris Brookholt, English teacher and the adviser for the school’s Club Identity.
“Each of the LHS students that participated in the all day diversity workshop felt empowered and energized upon our return from the event,” said Brookholt. “We talked about the power of putting forth the effort to have serious conversations with people about things that matter, but most importantly about taking the time to get to know people that might appear very different from ourselves and appreciating the stories they have to tell,” he continued. “This is the third group of students I’ve helped lead through this workshop, and each group leaves transformed and more confident that their voices and actions can instill change in today’s sometimes troubling world.”