SHS to host Challenge Day

January 14, 2009 — by Vijay Menon and Karthik Sreedhara

The school will hold its first Challenge Day in two years on March 17. The diversity program challenges students to “become better people” and forces them to address issues such as stereotypes, cliques and tolerance, according to assistant principal Karen Hyde.

The leadership class has been planning the event over the last year with sponsorship from the PTSO. A group of 80 students, 20 from each grade, have been invited to participate in the program along with members of the leadership class. The students will be participating in activities from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with two highly-trained leaders. Although the price of hosting Challenge Day is an “exorbitant” $3,200, Hyde said she believes that the investment is “well worth it.”

“The program is emotional and touching,” said Hyde. “It forces you to reassess where you are and where you’re going and I think for that reason alone it’s worth it.”

Senior Rishi Taggarsi, one of the organizers and a participant in this year’s Challenge Day, believes the experience will be priceless.

Said Taggarsi, “Challenge Day will be a great opportunity for students to overcome social and emotional barriers and find out more about themselves and those around them.”

During the day, students will discuss issues such as cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, racism, sexism, bullying, violence and homophobia. The event also helps students determine what they want to do with their future.

“I think a lot of our kids are in this rote thing about ‘I need to go, I need to take this test and go on to the next one,’” Hyde said. “They don’t really assess what path they’re on, why they’re doing this, and what is meaningful in their life, [which] I think [is] the true measure of success.”

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