Breaking Down the Walls empowers students to change

Breaking Down the Walls, a program designed to unify and empower every student to create a positive campus climate, will be returning to Carmel High School on Nov. 21 and 22 with speaker Freddie Silveria from the company Learning for Living leading the event.

“Breaking Down the Walls is an opportunity to allow students a moment outside of their day,” CHS activities director Aubrey Powers says, “to bond with one another, share their story and develop greater empathy for their peers by understanding what people are going through.”

Powers wants to emphasize that anyone can participate in this event. Additionally, student leaders for the event will come from teacher recommendation.

“This event is not intended for Leadership students,” Powers says. “It is intended to be for students from all walks of campus.”

One of the greatest benefits of the event is that it truly brings the school together.

“The event is all about building empathy and support for one another,” Powers says. “It hits hard on the idea that everyone is dealing with something or that you could be a supportive peer to your friend or someone that you don’t know that well, which means a lot.”

Junior Diego Cabrera attended Breaking Down the Walls during his freshman year.

“Breaking Down the Walls is a really fun way to just open your eyes and see that we all are different, but we are also connected,” Cabrera enthusiastically remarks. “It makes up come closer together.”

Cabrera emphasizes that the activities have had a lasting effect on him.

“I remember the crossing-the-line event,” Cabrera says. “It helped me see that even though you may not be dealing with the problem it doesn’t mean that everyone else does not have that problem. It makes you aware of other people.”

The event begins with various icebreaker activities with the goal of getting everyone comfortable with one another.

Powers says that the speaker does a motivational speech by sharing his story. Then the group is split up into smaller groups, which are led by student leaders, coming from all parts of the school, who lead groups of about 10 students.

The activities director also wants to emphasize that students will not be missing out on important classwork if they attend the event.

“Teachers seem to be pretty understanding that students are going to choose to do this event,” Powers says. “I believe that there shouldn’t be a penalty. A lot of teachers tend to do the same assignment on both days.”

All students interested in signing up can do so at the ASB office till Thursday, Nov. 17.

-Ryan Lin