A Scenic Overlook, and a true story.

Apr 11

Core Essential Values has recently introduced a NEW Middle and High School program called Re:Connect. This program equips schools (and their community volunteers) to let students lead a movement in their own culture, using our common language of a value and its simple definition as a basis. This guest post is a true story from one Re:Connect facilitator.


We have known Alicia for a couple of years now, and we kept hearing things from people like, ‘If you knew what she used to be like,’ and, ‘Wow, she has changed.’

Alicia lives with her mother, along with three other siblings, all from different fathers (she never has had a relationship with her own father, who lives in a different state and battles drug addiction).
She tells story after story about being outspoken, ‘sucked into drama,’ and a fighter. She picked fights for no reason, or for big reasons – like comments about her weight, hair, and skin color. During her sophomore year of high school, she was involved in a big fight – a huge fight.

As a result, she was suspended from school and unable to attend various extra-curricular activities, including school dances.

When we looked for kids to help us get our crazy idea off the ground, we asked her to join to our group (fresh off her fight and suspension). At the first meeting, we faced a group of 40 eager but skeptical students. They were diverse enough in age, race, and socio- economic status that they didn’t even all know each other.

In that meeting, I said something like this: ‘You guys need to understand that you won’t see results from the efforts we are asking you to put in this year. You are planting seeds for future students, for other years. I hope you can commit to helping us see this through, even if the rewards won’t be yours.’

Alicia was a junior, sitting in the back of the room.

A year later, as we met with a new group of kids wanting to join our group, we asked if there was anything any of the returning members wanted to add. Alicia’s hand shot up from the back of the room.

‘I have something to say. Last year, you told us that we wouldn’t see a difference, that change would come later. Well, you were WRONG. This place is better, it is different, it has changed, and we helped make that happen!’

Two weeks later, Alicia was named homecoming queen.


Learn more about the program.

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