GEAR UP at Southridge High School started the 2014-2015 school year out with a bang this year! Freshman First Day, a freshman-only school day, was August 26, 2014. It involved a school tour, pep and administration assemblies, a short class schedule, and an ice cream social.
Lead by our student leadership groups, IGNITE, ASB, and Blu Cru, our incoming freshman were broken down into class groups, played ice breaker games, and toured the school. GEAR UP was one of the stops on the school tour. We introduced freshman to the GEAR UP program and our services. We discussed our role at Southridge and how to be successful.
GEAR UP brought in motivational speaker and ball of positive energy Aric Bostick, who fired up our freshman! He explained how he overcame his personal challenges and how Southridge freshman can overcome their challenges. Besides overcaming significant personal obstacles, he changed his attitude to succeed and attain his goals. He talked about how students can’t tell what life is like for other people from their appearance or behavior. He polled students to show them how many other students are or have gone through a difficult situation at home. Students were surprised how many other students were going through similar tough situations. Aric also explained that everyone is awesome. He encouraged us as a school to recognize awesomeness in others and be positive in our interactions.
While Aric was giving leadership some tips, freshman went to a shortened class schedule, so they wouldn't get lost the first day of school. They also meet their teachers and were able to connect with other freshman, so that the first day of school wouldn’t be so daunting with its sea of unfamiliar faces.Aric also held a leadership development session with our leadership students in IGNITE, ASB, and Blu Cru. He taught them some valuable leadership tools and ran through an exercise to help them understand how the popular and unpopular kids feel. The students were surprised how real it felt walking down the hall at school as popular or unpopular kids. They said that eye contact and one positive interaction could really change how they felt.
The day was finished on a sweet note with an ice cream social for the students. While the school administrators served ice cream, Aric served up a workshop for teachers and staff on making a difference with each student. He also discussed ways to increase positivity in the classroom. As Aric would say, “You are AWESOME!