Finding Unity

Unity Day Debuts as Freshman-Only Event


Freshmen sit in the small gym, listening to one of the talks during Unity Day (photograph by senior Amari McCain).

Sabastian Eddy, Staff Writer

“Unity Day is all about finding the common link that we all have to each other.  It is about being more conscience of our actions towards others. I can never get over how connected everyone feels at the end of a unity day. Like someone else is in the exact same boat as they are.”

These are words that describe the Unity Day experience, an experience that – for the first time ever – was brought to each and every freshmen in the high school this year.

Unity Day was restructured for the 2014-2015 school year to be freshmen-only. The event was held over the course of four Tuesdays. Freshmen were divided into four groups by alphabetical order and, on the day of the event, were brought to the small gym in their group.

“Unity Day became a freshman-only event this fall because we really felt that it would be so awesome if a whole class had the opportunity to share their life experiences with each other to better connect them,” said Ms. Abby Daniels, a art teacher and one of the event’s organizers. “From a teachers perspective, it reminds me that my students have so much more going on than just remembering the due date of my assignment.  It is a little refresher that I am just a little blurb in someone’s day and when they get home they still have their real life to deal with.”

The entire day consisted of activities designed to encourage students to meet new people, work with others, and share things about themselves.

“You’ll have a blast,” said freshman Xavier Barnes. “I learned new things about my peers and the struggles they’re going through.”

The freshmen, being totally new to the high school, don’t always know what to expect.

“Truthfully, I thought Unity Day was going to be a boring day, but once we got into things I learned it was more than that. Today was an eye-opening day,” said freshman Jacob Smith.

The school has been sponsoring an annual Unity Day event since 2008. The number of events held during the year has gradually increased.

“The idea Unity Day came from a MTV special ‘If You Really Knew Me.’ Basically, we’re trying to show kids that there are people out there experiencing what you’re going through and with that common link you can connect with one another. People can have a wrong understanding of each other and that ‘If you Really Knew Me’ and if you knew some of the things I was going through, then you’d think differently of me,” said Principal Mr. George Caras.

Until this year, it was an application-only process in which students in any grade could apply. This year, however, it became a freshman-only event. Caras states that next year it will be a freshman-only event again, but it will include upperclassmen as well to serve as role models.