BY ELENA VALDEZ
A listening ear is sometimes exactly what’s needed – an unbiased person that genuinely hears what is being said. Hoping to provide this support, CCHS’s HOPE Club is hosting a special sidewalk talk for students, teachers or any passerby to vent, tell their story, reflect, work through something aloud or just talk for the sake of it. HOPE Club members will be there to listen, not to offer advice or judgment.
The event is promoted and sponsored by the movie “Listen,” a film promoted by Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) that focuses on youth wanting to be heard and how more often than not, they are silenced by the trials of their lives. “Listen” posits that adolescents need compassion and patience from dominating figures in their lives. HOPE Club works to ensure that high school youth are being attended to in a way that they say most of society neglects.
HOPE Club works to ensure that high school youth are being attended to in a way that they say most of society neglects.
Due to the increase in teenage suicide during 2016 and 2017 in the county, BCPS decided to show “Listen” throughout schools in order to raise awareness for the matter. After the showing, a group discussion including the director, students and teachers took place where they conferred over the importance of listening to others.
By using what was learned in the discussion and the movie, HOPE Club will implement the techniques and listening strategies used to help others at the sidewalk talk and continue to educate others on the impact that listening to others can have.
“It’s a great tie-in of the idea that’s given to us as an audience from the movie to truly actively listen to others without necessarily always having to give feedback or advice to counter someone else’s point of view or opinion,” HOPE Club President Alyssa Levy said. “By taking your time to truly find people who can hear you out in a constructive way, positivity will come flowing in.”
“By taking your time to truly find people who can hear you out in a constructive way, positivity will come flowing in.”
They are creating a sidewalk safe space for people to be heard, as the club works to advocate for mental health and help those who are struggling. For anyone interested in listening at the sidewalk chat, volunteer hours will be given to those who participate on either Saturday or Sunday.
In order to volunteer, interested individuals must fill out and sign a liability waiver to return to HOPE Club by the end of the week, and watch a listener training video in order to learn proper listening techniques.
Photo by Sabrine Brismeur