Challenge Day at LHS

Challenge Day at LHS

This year’s Challenge Day was a heartening experience that brought students and faculty members together. Challenge Day is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite communities through acceptance and respect for one another. 

LHS brings Challenge Day back each year because of its positive messages. Physics Teacher Amy Ezagui, who assists in the planning of Challenge Day each year, said, “Challenge Day teaches participants that there is more to a person than he or she chooses to share with the world.” The activities of the event involves several engaging activities, such as “walk the line,” that helps participants appreciate each other’s unique stories and qualities. 

This year’s Challenge Day was a return to normal after the previous year’s school-wide assembly. Last year’s Challenge Day was a condensed assembly that involved all students and staff. Traditionally, Challenge Day hosts around 100 participants who voluntarily sign up for a full-day experience while last year featured a mandatory school-wide assembly. Many staff and students prefer the full-day event because it gives participants the real chance to connect with other people and spend time with peers. Principal Joseph Rainis said, “I think the day-long event is better than the whole-school assembly. We gave [the full school assembly] a shot because we wanted to see what kind of an effect it could have, but in observing what was taking place, it was clear that while some students were on point and getting the message, there was also a significant number who were not.” As Rainis expressed, the overall opinion seemed to be that Challenge Day is more enjoyable when there is an option to participate because those involved want to be there. That sentiment was also shared among students. “Not only did the smaller, more intimate setting make the lessons we learned more meaningful, but the absence of students who felt unenthusiastic and forced to attend made for a better overall environment,” said junior Jolie Orbeta.

Since all participants in this year’s Challenge Day were willing and eager to benefit from the program as much as possible, it proved to be rewarding. The strong impact and success of this year’s Challenge Day has led to the birth of the UMatter club. The UMatter club aims to keep the spirit of Challenge Day alive throughout the year and spread its message of inclusion and respect. “The UMatter club’s vision closely follows the purpose of Challenge Day,” said Ezagui “We look forward to holding monthly challenges that will help to foster an environment where everyone feels included, supported, and safe,” she added. 

Challenge Day will return to LHS next year and continue bringing the school closer together through its simple messages of understanding and inclusion.