Last November, students at Monte Vista had the opportunity to participate in a program called “Breaking Down the Walls.” This month, the program made a comeback to help build up and strengthen the mustang community.
Breaking Down the Walls is a comprehensive program designed to unify, empower, and engage every student to create a positive and supportive campus climate.
The daylong program consisted of various activities that helped peers build connections with each other, as well as activities that stimulated self reflection.
Current juniors were all asked to do the program, as they are going to be the seniors next year, and are expected to set the tone and standards for the future seniors to come.
In the beginning of the program, students were asked to do several rounds of icebreakers. This was in order to build comfort and allow them to get to know who they were doing the program with.
One of the main ideas of the program was the difference between being “willing,” and being “eager.” Students discussed how being willing meant doing something because it was required and was an obligation, while being eager was being excited to do something.
The speaker and leader of the program, Rochelle, explained how this idea of “willing” versus “eager” was a mindset that we would have to adapt to everyday, and whichever we chose was a direct reflection of how our days would turn out.
Many other messages were talked about during the program as well, including the idea of a sense of community, and what that means living in Danville specifically.
Junior Abby Guild, who attended the first day of the program, reflected on what she learned.
“I thought that it was a very powerful experience that helped me to empathize with others,” Guild said. “I think that it allowed people to come to terms with and share their own issues and to get a broader perspective; it also helped us to realize that different people go through different things, whether they show it or not.”
A big topic that was discussed during the program were the issues in Danville. Responses varied from, “everyone thinks we’re rich and entitled,” to, “teenagers here don’t respect other people.”
Although some students believe there will be a change on campus and Monte Vista’s community, there are still some people hesitant in believing a greater change.
“[Although I believe it was a very powerful experience,] I also think that there will always be some people who can’t or won’t open up to others and that there will always be some divisions between different cliques/groups,” Guild said.
Junior Iman Malek-Ashgar also touched on this topic of not being able to break the divide.
“Breaking down the walls was really emotional, but I don’t think it was strong enough to break up cliques that have been formed since grade school.”