On Tuesday, my year level were involved in a Reach Foundation workshop. The Reach Foundation is an organisation that was created in 1994 by Jim Stynes and Paul Curie. The organisation works towards promoting health and wellbeing amongst teenagers and young adults. The workshop that the year 9’s and I did was all about enhancing our confidence among each other and towards ourselves.
The workshop started with my cohort sitting in a room as if we were going to have an assembly. The people from Reach who were running our workshop, Al and Jess, put a chair in the front of the room and told us that each and every one of us would have to get up the front and sing for 30 seconds in front of everyone in our year.
To say I was dead scared was an understatement. I could quite possibly be the worlds worst singer, second only to my sister. However, after two people had gotten up and done it, I decided ‘what the heck’ and stood up in front of 70 people and sang ‘we’re all in this together.’ I survived and am so proud of myself for getting up and doing something that I had known before I did it I would be terrible at.
This was an exercise designed to see the confidence levels of the girls in our year level and as the amount of people who braved singing was limited to me and two other girls, it was automatically seen as below average. We spent the next half hour discussing comfort zones, confidence levels and what factors can change either or both of these things.
Gossip and fear of judgement were the decided reasons of the lack of confidence for girls in my year level and an exercise we did to delve into that issue was really hard-hitting. We all sat (bunched in an uncomfortably close circle) and closed our eyes whilst we listened to Jess lead us through a thought-inducing mindfulness that made me cry at one point.
We were led through a journey that forced us to take a look at how our actions affect others. We were also given a chance to reflect on those who we love and deserve to be appreciated. I started to cry when Jess told us to think about someone close to you and imagine they’re moving overseas, what do you say? When I thought about what I would say to my best friend knowing it could be the last time caused me to get overly emotional.
Once we were told to open our eyes, Jess and Al told us that if we had anyone we wanted to thank or anyone we wanted to apologise to, now was our chance to get everything off our chest. The first person who stood up was one of my best friends who thanked me for always being there for her and accepting her no matter what. Obviously, me being in my emotional state and all started crying again.
It went on, more people thanking the people close to them. Al interjected after a few rounds and told us that if we have any apologies to get of our chests, now was the perfect time. I stood up and turned to my best friend and apologized for not always standing up for her when some of our other friends tease her. My other best friend stood up with me and together we promised her we would be the best friends we can for her. She cried so then I cried which caused majority of the room to cry along with us.
Our Reach Foundation Workshop was an incredible experience that has left our year level closer than ever. More girls are associating with people they hadn’t before and the happiness amongst all the classrooms is at an all time high. After talking to many of the girls, the general census is that Reach Foundation put on a successful workshop that did its job of having us all bond with one another.
Who would you apologise to?