Self-expression Readies Students for High School

If you could let it all out in a speech, what would you say, and to whom? This is just one of the thought-provoking exercises that High Jump High Freshman Seminar students work on this summer. Through this self-expression exercise, students reveal a need to “get noticed” and share that they are “relieved to get things off my mind…a weight has lifted from my shoulders.”

The seminar, designed for rising Freshmen, builds on their experiences in the High Jump core program. Students continue the work they started by further developing their identity, leadership skill, and executive functioning in preparation for high school in the Fall. This year, 15 rising freshmen joined this virtual workshop that addresses potential barriers in transitioning to high school by supporting students in becoming more self-aware.

Students socializing through games

To balance out some of their more challenging assignments, students socialize through games such as “Caption This Photo” and “I’m The Only One Who Has Ever _______.” Games like these encourage interaction and give students new conversation starters for potentially awkward social situations. Being the only person in your group who has eaten cuy (kew-y) in Ecuador is undoubtedly a good conversation starter.

In a session focused on healthful habits, students spent the day learning about herbs and recipes that boost their immune systems and help keep their lungs healthy. As students approach the possibility of returning to in-person classes this Fall, good self-care that includes creativity, mindfulness, and aromatherapy can be restorative.

High Jump High is the continuation of an equitable educational journey for High Jump core program alumni. With continued support, students can better understand issues of race, class, and power, and reflect on their own identity, civic engagement, and leadership.

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