Teen development advocates speak to freshmen


Sean Mendiola

Youth advocate Lorenzo Cooper coordinates group exercises as the Class of 2020 share personal experiences that teens tend not to share with one another. Freshmen spent the day doing activities designed to help them learn about themselves.

Convent & Stuart Hall freshmen met adolescent development speaker Charis Denison earlier today in the Columbus Room on the Pine and Octavia campus for a workshop on gender politics and adolescent behavior.

“My curriculum teaches students what to do with ambiguity,” Denison, who has over 20 years of experience lecturing schools and nonprofits in community involvement, human development and ethics said. “It teaches students what to do when there is no particular right answer, and what to do when they’re uncomfortable.”

The freshmen engaged in several group activities designed to help them to understand and express themselves. Speaker Ashanti Branch had students write down the emotions they hide and then had them exchange papers, an exercise demonstrated in the documentary “The Masks We Live In.”

“They brought us together today to get to know each other and go deeper into figuring out ourselves as well as others,” Cole Slater ’20 said. “We shared with people what they don’t know about us. It’s a good way to check in with your feelings.”