A changing campus

A changing campus

Sara Yang

  Campus displays the "ripple effect" of Challenge Day

"Imagine a world where every child feels safe, loved and celebrated."

This is the philosophy behind Challenge Day, and for one day per semester over the last two years, this idea has become a reality for its MVHS attendees.
On March 11, the fourth Challenge Day at MVHS, the gym served as an open space with no distractions for 100 students, 25 teen leaders and 25 adult facilitators.  The recent introduction of teen leaders allowed Challenge Day veteran students to return in a position of higher responsibility as role models and supporters to help further the experience for their peers.
According to student advocate and Challenge Day coordinator Richard Prinz, the spirit of "being the change you want to see in the world" is fundamental to Challenge Day.
"You want more compassion in the world?  You want more love in the world?  You want people to be happier in the world, you want to be happier?  Bring it about… you’re in charge of your life," Prinz said.  "[The Challenge Day organization] want[s] to see a continuation, they don’t just want to see this [be] a one day event.  They want this to change the culture of campuses."
Junior teen leader Adnan Hamwi is one of the many fostering the Challenge Day spirit.
"I feel like I have an obligation to kind of take care of this school and the people in general, [because] I feel like they’re my brothers and sisters," Hamwi said.  "We all go through similar experiences and we [have] to take care of each other."
For Prinz, the actions of people like Hamwi are generating the "ripple effect" as the Challenge Day environment becomes part of the MVHS culture.
"[My goal is] that you see a campus that is like Challenge Day… where people are looking out for each other, and… differences are respected," Prinz said.  "Why not?  It could happen.  And [in some ways] it’s already happening."