We knew we were making a difference that day in Elkhart, IN during our MOVE 2 STAND training. What we did not know was how deep and real and powerful this difference was until we received this letter. This really says it all.
Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial High School have been intense rivals for decades. When the time comes for a football or basketball meeting, the week before the game is tension-filled and loud. Move 2 Stand came this year the Monday before the Central/Memorial sectionals football game, when the tension was no less than promised. Although these people are unfamiliar with the territory and its tradition, they stepped in and took on the challenge of having 100 students from both schools in one small, elementary gymnasium. When walking into the building nobody knows exactly what to expect, but most predict a boring, six-hour set of lectures. Not the case.
Throughout the day we are constantly involved with activities that stimulate our emotions and raise deeply repressed feelings. At the beginning of the seminar, we are asked to step out of our comfort zone to stretch and better ourselves. Sitting in a subconscious disbelief makes this possibility seem almost unreachable, but at the end of the day, I can promise that anybody who went through this day would be stretched.
I don’t want to ruin the surprises of the activities, but for the first time in history (as far as we know), Move 2 Stand brought together two of the most hard-headed, hate-blazing schools in our area, as one big family. I was given the opportunity to speak in front of the student body before they started because it was the second time I had been to this seminar and it had really affected me the first time. In my small speech I said something along the lines of, “Right now, everybody has a similar mindset.’I can’t make a difference. I’m only one person.’ Look around you. There are two hundred people here; two hundred people can make a difference.” My hypothesis surpassed what I thought.
By the end, you didn’t care if someone was from Central or Memorial; if they were in your presence, they were family. Since the seminar, our Move 2 Stand club at Central has greatly expanded. Central’s halls are much less violent both physically and emotionally. Bullying is unanimously outcasted, and hate no longer lingers in the air.
Move 2 Stand is a movement. It’s cliché to recommend a program and say that it changed your life, but it is an understatement in this situation. I strongly recommend this program and say with confidence that it will change your school in a crucial step for self-betterment and community improvement.