Dozens of balloons, popping in succession, could be heard from the Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym recently. Inside each busted balloon was a positive message for the sophomore girl who did the popping. This activity was done through a Senior Capstone group, with the focus on growing female relationships within CJ.
"We told the girls why sisterhood is important to us," said group member Davida Okyere-Fosu '16. "We put messages into balloons and told them to breath out negative energy. We also asked if they ever said anything bad about someone or if someone has ever said anything bad about them. They popped their balloon to release negative energy and they shared their message inside the balloon."
Group members said this topic was close to them because they have each encountered or been involved in a negative incident with other girls.
"It's important to me because I feel it's a better high school experience if you have sisters or good friends to get through things," noted Cara Barney '16.
"I know capstones in the past that have gone to elementary schools and worked on building community in those schools," added the group's mentor, Susan Eichenauer. "I like how this group is working with younger students in our building, in our own community."
"We want the girls to look up to us as big sisters so they can come to us if they ever have any problem," Chekayvia Mooreknight '16 affirmed.
Capstone members said they plan to meet with the group of girls again in January, February and March of 2016. They added that working on this project has made their bond of friendship even stronger.
Tiera McDowell '16 said, "I have been friends with this group since my freshman year. This project has made us closer and we want others to have the same experience."
"If there wasn't the Capstone Project, I would talk about doing something like this but I don't think I would have acted on my words," Akilah Lowe '16 added. "Because of the Capstone, I'm happy for the end result and growing. This project and this topic is very near to my heart so I feel like at the end of the project, I won't be rewarded with something physical, but something within me."
Information about the additional meetings in 2016 will be announced when they are finalized.