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Del Oro students are breaking down the walls

By: Kelsey Carter, Del Oro High School student
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The program Breaking Down the Walls removes barriers between peer groups. It helps students to communicate with other students, regardless of the peer group with whom they associate. On Monday, Sept. 15, students at Del Oro High School will have the opportunity to attend the Breaking Down the Walls assembly. The assembly will include motivational speakers who have traveled across the nation to spread the program’s message, inspiring students to feel safe and comfortable by reaching out to other peers they might otherwise never talk to. Del Oro student Sarah Andrews decided that for her senior project that she wanted to help make Breaking Down the Walls possible for students and keep the spirit going on throughout the year. “I believe that students will be able to see stories of different students and see what kind of backgrounds others come from. This program will help to break down barriers between cliques,” she said. For many seniors who experienced Breaking Down the Walls their freshman year, the lessons learned have stayed with them. Senior Olivia Nixon remembers the great impact that the program made throughout her high school experience. “Breaking Down the Walls my freshmen year just really showed me the diversity but also the many things in common that people have. Because of this event I am able to look at people for who they are, and be less judgmental work will all types of people, and succeed in school and outside,” she said. Student activities director Terry Barker feels the program helps students to avoid cliques and to get the courage to communicate with others. “As the student’s activities director its part of my job to make sure that we bring programs on campus that will benefit the entire student body. I try to bring Breaking Down the Walls to Del Oro every two to three years because I believe that it’s a fantastic program that helps students to understand and see that we are all in this together,” he said. After next week’s assembly, students will be given the chance to attend workshops over four days. The goal of these workshops is to enforce what students learned during the assembly, to teach them how to communicate with others, and to avoid peer pressure throughout high school. Students have been selected to be leaders during the workshop days and are given proper training to help other students during the workshops that take place throughout the week. They’ll receive training in listening skills, motivation, student support and what is needed to be a good role model for students. Those who attend these workshop days will hopefully get a different perspective on how to interact and treat others and how they look at themselves. “This year I really hope to gain more skills that I can use for the rest of my life. Things such as acceptance, working with others, and being able to put others before I think of my own self interests,” Nixon said.