Since many of our girls were new to the team, our first task of the year was team building. We had a team retreat and our goal was to get to know each other, break into teams, and lay out our projects for the year. We had ice breakers and did team building exercises and mindfulness activities. We ate together, did Qi Gong, and had guest speakers from K-9 connection who talked with us about self esteem and beauty. We broke into groups and started working on our Project Planning sheets. We discussed a number of activities that we wanted to do to bring more peace, stress reduction, and mindfulness education to our school. Our team identified immigration issues as a major area of stress but we needed data to verify this need. Therefore, we designed a survey and administered it to all homeroom classes and found that 38% of our student body are affected by DACA and have serious concerns for peers and a need for more information about the future of themselves, their families and their friends. Even students who aren't directly affected, shared concerns for peers and a need for more information to better understand what is being proposed by our government and what the ramifications might be. We discussed changing our impact area to Civic Engagement but realized that the need for Mindfulness to manage stress hasn't gone away, if anything, it is now even greater so we decided to keep the Health and Wellness impact area and create a two pronged project that provides support and resources to students in our school and community about mindfulness and wellness and also addresses a specific issue (DACA). By the end of the day, we narrowed it down to 6 activities that we felt would support our mission. The first 3 (continued from years 1 and 2) are the main events.
1.The flagship Mindfulness Fair
2. Classroom presentations on mindfulness for all Freshman Seminar classes
3. Lunch activities
Because we already have the structures in place for these 3 activities and since we added more girls to our team and have more "girl power", we felt that we could handle 3 new projects that we believe will support our mission to help our student body to handle stress and create a more peaceful environment. We realized that the uncertainty and fear about what is happening in the political arena is also a source of stress. Some of this stress can be lessened by bringing more information and legal support to students and their families. Working with animals can also help relieve stress so we brought in the K-9 Connection program. We were asked to participate in Dia De Los Muertos so we agreed to create alter dedicated to women in history and people in our lives (and pets) who have inspired us to be our best help others and be change agents. Participating in this event also served to promote our GBLA team and let others know about our projects for the year.
4. Know your Rights Event
5. K-9 Connection
6. GBLA participation in Dia de Los Muertos.