MHS Seniors help junior high students find courage


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     Junior High is a critical part in peoples’ lives. It is here where young minds have to choose between two paths. Either you take the road that the majority takes, and risk giving up who you are, or you can go on your own path and be yourself.

     Having to choose between those two roads tends to be challenging for Junior High students. They want to be a part of “the group”, and one way the Mariemont community is trying to help the MJHS students choose the right course is to bring them to the Courage Retreat.

     This retreat, which occurred on January 17, contained a small group of MHS seniors brought together to help the seventh graders find the courage they need to be who they are.

Senior Chase Beach shows off his Courage Retreat t-shirt.

     One member of this group, Haley Fallon talks about how the Courage Retreat was important. Fallon says, “Its important because at that age kids are trying to figure out who they are but often end up trying to be who they think they should be. The retreat was great for them to express themselves.”

     This retreat was held at the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park. It was here where several activities took place in which the seniors participated with the MJHS students in finding out more about courage.

     One of the main activities that the retreat had to offer was “small group time.” During this period, seven junior high kids got together with one of the seniors and talked about courage.

     One of the student leaders for the seventh graders, Sarah Ries says, “I enjoyed the small group time and being able to get to know the kids and watch them open up to other people.”

     At the end of each activity, including small group time, the junior highers were given a quick lesson about why they just participated in that activity. Even though all of the lessons seemed to be different, they all had to deal with courage – the courage to be yourself and do what you think is right.

     After the retreat was over it wasn’t just the seventh graders that learned something new, it was also the seniors.

     Reflecting back on his experience at the retreat senior Tim Purcell states, “I learned that despite what the media may say about young kids, they really are thoughtful and caring individuals. It is never too early or too late to remind each other about how powerful simply being kind can be.”