Hype Development Day 2018

Bella Blood, contributing author

On October 9th the annual HYPE project was started back up again by Souhegan’s very own Ethics Forum. HYPE is the initiative started at SHS in partnership with Saint Anselm College, to help start creating a large group of student leaders across the state. As each year goes by Juniors and Seniors in Ethics Forum work towards creating a better program. Their purpose is to grow the student participation rate in discussion topics that are important today and by the final conference in March, to have inspired peers their own age to take action. During this first meeting, groups consisting of anywhere from 7-30 students attended from several schools. The objective of this particular day was to collaborate and create the essential question of discussion for this year. The group as a whole eventually decided on the wider topic of media. From there in their smaller table groups, they brainstormed essential questions. Max Latona, a professor at the college facilitated the ideas with the whole group.



By attending HYPE students learn to find depth in conversation. This aspect left observers and attendees quite surprised about the magnitude of power students were really finding in themselves and/or in their peers. HYPE is also a  great way for students to take leadership roles they may otherwise not get in school. For some being present in discussions where they have a safe space for ‘truly organic’ conversations is new. For others, it’s creating their leadership skills so they can contribute in a broader spectrum than ever before. Some students practice stepping out of their comfort zones in order to create growth. To some individuals, this means listening to both perspectives and realizing you cannot force one side. To know each other’s roles, strengths, and sides create greater insight and deeper understanding to a discussion. This is what HYPE is all about. Asking questions and working through something we cannot immediately change and finding the next level of information is being a leader. Knowing leadership is not just about creating one higher being, but instead looking at the whole picture, is when one becomes a leader. HYPE teaches that empowerment is the greatest type of leadership.