Students from Plainville High School are debating current events and making new friends through participation in the Connecticut YOUTH Forum program. On March 20, Plainville students, under the direction of advisor and faculty member Pam Gervasio, hosted the Connecticut YOUTH Forum's monthly meeting of high school students from across the state. The Connecticut YOUTH Forum program features monthly meetings at various schools in Connecticut, where high school students come together for discussion and debate on current events and topics of interest. This month, students from 13 high schools gathered in the Plainville High School cafeteria to discuss the topic of "stereotypes." Upon arrival, each student participant created a nametag that included a stereotype about themselves. Dinner was provided for participants thanks to donations from a number of local establishments, including Vita's Restaurant, Pagliacci's Restaurant, Applebee's, Mozzicato Bakery, Village Pizza, and Big Y, as well as a number of students who provided baked goods. After reviewing group participation ground rules, the students discussed their thoughts, perceptions and feedback regarding stereotypes. "Our young people realize that we are more united, rather than divided, through the common thread of humanity," said Gervasio.
Approximately 30 Plainville High School students participated in planning and hosting the student forum. "I am new to the group. This is the first event I have attended for the youth forum. I hope to learn how to make our school a better place to enjoy," said junior Abby Negro. Sophomore Kristy Moliko, also a first time participant said, "It's good to meet people who we don't know and talk about topics and things that teens face." Junior Sarah Wiszniak has been involved with the student forum group for two years and serves as an ambassador on the leadership committee, a group that plans events and topics for the monthly forums across the state. "The topic for the forum we hosted at Plainville High School is "stereotypes" which is something we face as part of our daily lives, so it is a great opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions."
Kevin Williams, advisor to the New Britain High School student contingent participating in the forum at Plainville High School noted, "The forums are great. They provide the opportunity for students to meet peers from different socio-economic groups across the state and break stereotypes. The students are able to speak freely about topics that impact them."
The mission of the Connecticut YOUTH Forum is to bring youth together through discussion and action while providing opportunities for growth and exploration as an individual and as part of a diverse community.
"It was impressive to see this mature group of young adults coming together to discuss stereotypes. All too often, we make a determination about others based upon their external appearance. When we begin to judge books by their content, not their cover, the world will be a better place. I admire this group’s resolve toward creating a better world, and appreciate Mrs. Gervasio and our students for their commitment," said Plainville High School Principal, Steven LePage.
-Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM
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