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When I first showed up to the Carver Center and had to stand up in front of a group of 20 students, some of them even older than I was, I was scared. I remember doing the most awkward icebreaker activity: sharing our “celebrity crushes.” I can’t imagine what these students thought of us at that point; probably were a bit confused.
The first few meetings were awkward. Trying to have a discussion was like pulling teeth. It was hard because I knew that this group would be buzzing with life in the Darien group’s absence. The silence and awkward interaction was created by lack of trust. We knew very little about them and they knew very little about us or why we were even meeting.
However, the transformation that occurred over the next 6 months was amazing. Students from different towns were now completely comfortable with each other. We’d have meaningful discussions yet also just ask each other about random things. We had finally broken down the barriers and could work together and have fun. I even had a secret handshake with one student.
Kyle Hornick, age 17, Darien High School
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