Peer Leader at High School for Environmental Studies
Transcribed from an audio interview. Responses have been edited for clarity.
During the last school year, I didn’t even know what Day One was but I was always hanging out in the office. I just thought it was a club. But then my RAPP Coordinator, Syd, was like “we’re actually having a program I think you’d be a really good candidate for.” And it was like a whole program with funding and everything, and I’m like, Oh, I didn’t know that, I was not aware.
During the year, we would just talk about, I don’t know, literally healthy relationships and things like that. But [the Summer Peer Leadership Institute] is different. This is way deeper. Because you know, I couldn’t be in her office all day [during the school year], because I got classes to do. So here, I’m actually here the whole time, we’re getting deep into things, workshops with a bunch of people — not just five people in the office talking. It’s like a whole new level of, like, wow. I love it. I mean, I love it.
I think we need to learn this for life. You do a lot of learning in your life when it comes to social relationships when you’re young. It’s really hard when you’re developing and learning how to navigate relationships, and people don’t really learn to navigate in a healthy way. They’re really set in their ways or being petty or whatever. Girl, that’s not cute. Like, that whole situation could have been resolved if you could say, “Hey I don’t like when you did that.”
Everyone sees their moms and their dads do it. They see everybody around them doing it. It’s like, okay, whatever. For example, the whole petty thing: people think it’s cute. Other unintentional toxic behaviors would be giving the silent treatment, being passive aggressive, like, stuff like that people just do without thinking anything of it.
In the next fifteen years, I hope Day One becomes more widespread. I hope it just grows into something that we all know about. So that these issues do not go on to another generation. That’s what I’m hoping. And also for more budget for more food.