Posts Tagged Braddock Hills


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Propel HS: Black-Out Stigma

Propel HS: Black-Out Stigma

Propel: Braddock Hills High School had another great year with their Black-Out Stigma week of activities. The students came up with some pretty overwhelming ideas during their brainstorming sessions, but were able to create some unforgettable projects. PBHS is known for innovation, creativity, and impact and they didn’t disappoint!

Although students at PBHS are required to wear uniforms, students were permitted to wear black on a designated day to emphasis their commitment to ‘blacking out stigma.’ Students also had the opportunity to have their photo taken with 3 of their friends (representing the 1:4) to keep as a reminder of the day. The backdrop was created by the Stand Together students with an outline of their bodies and each ‘crew’ (like homeroom) participated by adding insight to each of the sheets that made up the drop.

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Students also participated in a social inclusion activity. Students were given a green bracelet and instructed to write something that they were insecure about on it. The bracelets were collected and redistributed on Black-Out Stigma day. Individuals had insight into what their peers were struggling with and could identify with themsleves; they also realized that they are not alone and have more in common than they do different.

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Students participated in various activities throughout the week that highlighted their awareness of the myths and facts of mental health and substance use disorders. Students that answered ‘correctly’ received a PBHS Black-Out Stigma t-shirt!

But wait! There’s more!~

‘Crews’ participated in a life-size board game modeled after Chutes & Ladders. Things like supporting a friend or reaching out to an adult helped you climb the ladders, whereas ignoring a friend’s mental health concerns or using stigmatizing language sent you down a ‘chute.’ Students enjoyed learning more about mental health and substance use disorders and what they could do to help.

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The most meaningful activity was the ‘Thought Bubble.’ Students were encouraged to ‘Get out of your bubble! Stop Stigma!’ by participating in a moving, memorable, and very vulnerable event.

Students revealed some very powerful struggles, including losing friends and family members to suicide and overdose and experiencing bullying, mental health and substance use disorders, and trauma themselves. Students were also able to learn coping skills and share inspirational messages to encourage each other in their daily lives. Students could not only share their thoughts, but also embrace the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others in an anonymous, safe space. Everyone that participated was impacted greatly by this project.

Not only did the students educate their peers, but they also came together as a group during this project. The benefits of Stand Together spark positive changes in individuals, classrooms, and school culture are limitless! We can’t wait to see what the new group of Stand Together students comes up with next year!

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Propel-Braddock Hills: Surprise Success

Propel-Braddock Hills: Surprise Success

I have to be brutally honest…I wasn’t sure how today was going to go. These students were really quiet and sometimes had a hard time following along and respecting each other, but by the end of the trainings, these teens showed me they had everything it takes to put together a successful project and more!

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This was the second time we added additional empathy, listening, and vulnerability exercises and the group responded really well. Students began to open up to their peers and share themselves, which is so hard to do during adolescence. We found out we had so much more in common than we had ever imagined. It was also fun that throughout the day the whole student support staff department stopped by, including the psychologist, social worker, and SAP coordinator! We had a blast learning more about the importance of talking to an adult we trust when someone is going to harm themselves or others.

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After learning a lot more about themselves and each other, the group came up with some great ideas for their Spring service-learning projects. Although sometimes it’s hard to think about how to make an impact through social change, once they got started, they realized the possibilities were endless!

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Kudos, Propel-Braddock, for exceeding any and all expectations and I look forward to seeing your work as you STAND TOGETHER against stigma and educate your peers!

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