Project Broward: Bobcats spread love through the “Be the Change” event

by Kiera Cerino

KINDNESS GARDEN: Junior Isabella Zambrano and sophomore Haley Suarez write messages to go with decorated rocks into a rock garden. This activity was hosted by Peer Counseling as part of the “Be the Change” event on Feb. 14. Photo by Elise Twitchell.

On Feb. 14, West Broward hosted the “Be the Change” event with a variety of clubs offering activities to students and faculty. The event served as a reminder of how people can make a change in their community and promote the love, kindness and service that surrounds the event.  

As students and faculty gathered together to participate in activities during the “Be the Change” event during lunch, they bonded over the opportunity to make a change in their community. With tables hosting activities around writing positive messages, making bracelets and viewing choir performing across campus, students and faculty were able to see the impact they can have on their community. The event served as a way to promote love, kindness, and service in honor of the seventeen lives lost during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy in 2018.

“My overall outlook on this event is that it’s incredible how many clubs were able to participate in such a movement that expressed a day of service and love towards others,” said junior Daniella Lopez. “I’m proud that students and staff enjoyed the event and many came out to participate in the activities that other students put on.”

The event marked the two year anniversary of the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where seventeen students and faculty lost their lives. The shooting brought grief and heartache to many and in light of this, the event was shown in support of the many families and communities affected by it. West Broward hosted the event to promote love and service and to honor those affected by the tragedy. 

“The mood completely changed after lunch. The day started off gloomy and sad but after the event, the mood lightened and everyone seemed happier,” said sophomore Jazinet Rosario Breban. “I’ve realized that being nice to people can really affect someone’s day and even just a smile can make someone feel better.” 

In order to execute the event, many clubs and organizations planned for weeks in advance to ensure that their activities were well prepped and put together.. Students and faculty organized activities such as an umbrella toss, which symbolized throwing away negativity in our lives and promoting positivity, decorating Starbucks sleeves with messages to encourage kindness and writing uplifting notes to faculty and staff as a reminder that they’re appreciated. Students also could receive messages to remind them that they are loved. 

“Any club or group that wanted to participate put a table out there and everyone came up with their own creative ideas. I wish that when everyone does things like hosting a lunch event, that students would come out and get involved,” said AP Psychology and Peer Counseling teacher Gina Cunicelli-Carlton. “People put a lot of work into events like this and I hope to see more appreciation for the work behind the scenes and the work people put in.” 

    During the event, students and faculty were able to bond over spreading love, kindness and service throughout the school and community. Students hosted booths in order to promote kindness in a variety of ways and to engage students into the events. Students were given the opportunity to learn about how they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of those surrounding them by sharing positive messages, educating themselves about presidential candidates and their views, making friendship bracelets and promoting kindness. 

“I tried to participate in as many activities as I could. I went to the postiviti-tea table, all of the positive message tables, and I saw a make a bracelet table, and many more. I wrote over 10 positive heart cards,” said Rosario Breban. “I believe the event went amazingly well. People were engaging with each other, making positive messages, and they all seemed to have a good time. After the event, I’ve realized that being nice to people can really affect someone’s day and even just a smile can make someone feel better.” 

This event was a way for students and faculty to bond over the activities offered and to promote kindness, love, and service. Participating in the activities allowed for students and faculty to take part in something they wouldn’t have been able to take part in otherwise. Students were able to be more compassionate and empathetic towards one another as they bonded over the activities they participated in together. 

“A change I definitely saw after the event was many students embracing each other on this day of service and compassion. Once the event was over, it was an incredible experience to see all the clubs look so thrilled that students and staff members enjoyed their booth activity and they got to be a part of something more,” Lopez said. “Being able to see the amount of compassion students have for each other and to see them telling their friends and peers that they matter and they care for them should be said more. They will also appreciate their community after this event by participating in booths that provide service within our community.”