For Educators: Overcoming Insecurities with Young Women’s Leadership Academy (Project Idea)
The KIND Schools Challenge team at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth, Texas has made enormous progress on their work to increase kindness in their community. Their project, "HIT" Your Insecurities, features small group conversations to build community and culminates in a celebratory event where the team will fill piñatas with students’ written insecurities and break them to symbolize overcoming those insecurities. Here’s what the students have to say about their work on the project so far.
How has the idea of kindness changed for you while working on this project?
Kindness has always been something we have been exposed to in our school, but we have not practiced it very well. Our inspiration to practice kindness came from a speaker who told us about the little things with a big impact that kindness could bring. Unfortunately, the message didn’t stick and the idea of kindness drifted away from the minds of many of ours peers.
We, on the other hand, put the speaker's words into action with this project. Our Student Leadership teacher shared the KIND Schools Challenge with us and we jumped into action. We considered that fear can drive people to avoid being kind in order to fit in. We discussed the differences between being nice and being kind. Then we incorporated being kind by helping ourselves and our peers come to accept our insecurities and prevent us from being held back by them.
Tell us about a moment when you knew your work was having a positive impact on your community.
We realized that our project was impactful when we started presenting to our peers in different grade levels. Although we may be a small community, 400 students across 7 grade levels, we don’t tend to interact with our younger sisters. During our presentations, we were able to create a space that allowed students to connect across different groups and share personal insecurities around body image, family issues, mental health problems, financial status, relationships, and other issues.
What are you looking forward to most as you continue your work on the KIND Schools Challenge?
As we continue to work on our project, we are looking forward to the excitement of breaking the piñatas and helping our community members let go of their insecurities.
Originally published May 2018.