My name is Brion Kyle and I am a senior at Nicholas Senn High School. I recently came back from a leadership retreat with VOYCE in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. At the retreat, I learned a lot about myself and others through the group and 1-on-1 activities we did.
For example, on the first day we broke into small groups and came up with our own dream schools, which we presented to a mock CPS board to be analyzed and critiqued realistically. Through this we were able to show what we want from our school system, and learned more about how CPS treats young people and what we need to do to be taken seriously in meetings with them. We also did a Roots of Violence activity, where we talked about the different forms of violence, why they occur, and how we can stop violence at its roots.
That night, we had a bon fire where we discussed our strengths and our challenges and how they came to make us who we are today. I learned that I am no longer ashamed of what I have been through because it didn’t kill me, it made me stronger, and I am glad to still be here to tell my story because it may help one more person. I also learned I can trust people more than I thought I could. The next day we did a ropes course, where we all engaged in different exercises in which we had to trust our group members.
All in all, I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. We all had some difficulties opening up and trusting strangers, but by the end we realized we have one common goal in mind, which is to get the youth of Chicago a voice in our education. We don't want just enough to get by. We want the best education, and we want it now!