March 2016

Push for Peace Rally Organized by Capstone Group

Youth Advocates Against Gun Violence will hold a march and rally on Saturday, April 9 all in the name of peace. The event was organized by Lindsay Dwire ‘16, Asha Talib ‘16 and Colleen Wagoner '16 as part of their Senior Capstone Project.

"We wanted the community to get involved and help raise more awareness about gun violence," said Dwire.

Wagoner added, "We want everyone to be a part of the action."

"The girls have empathy for victims who don't have many outlets for support available, but they also wanted to implement seeds of hope by speaking to children about resolving issues without violence, and they also wanted to reach out to teens and other young people to show them that together they can stand together and make the change," reflected the group's mentor, Dayton Police Officer Danielle Cash.

The group's event, called Push for Peace, was something Talib said she knew she wanted to take part in for a long time.

"I was planning on doing this topic for my Senior Capstone Project for about two years," Talib explained. "There was an incident that I witnessed on my own street and it had a big influence on me taking action."

The group said they gathered information about gun violence mostly through interviews with leaders in the community, including members of the Dayton Public Schools' Board of Education, Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence, and the Dayton Police Department.

"We talked with Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl about the police aspect of shootings and gun violence," shared Wagoner. "What struck me was he took everything personally and didn't just give us statistics."

"As a police officer, I've observed firsthand what gun violence can do to people and their families," added Cash. "That's why this topic is so important.  From my experience, I know it's going to have to take people to make lifestyle and thought process changes. The only way we can make that happen is with education and by making a stand."

The Push for Peace event will begin at 10 a.m. with pre-registered high school students gathering at CJ for a prayer and opening remarks. The group will then walk down South Ludlow Street towards Courthouse Square for a public community rally that will begin at 11 a.m. The rally will feature a spoken word poetry performance, testimonies from victims of gun violence and the opportunity to meet with anti-violence organizations from the Dayton area.

"The community rally will have people from all generations," Talib noted. "But it starts with the youth, we are the future."

Dwire agreed, "We would like younger students to continue the Youth Advocates Against Gun Violence movement to help make progress in our community."

Posted March 31, 2016

Winter Sports Season Recap

The CJ winter sports teams brought heat to the basketball court, pool, bowling alley, track and mats even with the cold weather outside. The season ended with two teams sending students to the state level competition and several athletes receiving post-season awards.

Men's Basketball
The men's basketball team finished their season an even 11-11 overall. The team won the Versailles Holiday Tournament over Christmas break, which head coach Joe Staley '72 said was the highlight of the season. On December 4, the team had another accomplishment, giving Staley his 400th win after CJ defeated McNicholas, 48-36. In the post-season, Christian Montague '17 was named All Southwest Ohio, All District 15 Underclassmen and GCL All-League First Team. Peyton Young '17 was named to the GCL All-League Second Team.

Women's Basketball
The women's basketball team had a 11-14 record this season with highlights including defeating Kettering Fairmont and winning two post-season games against opponents who the Eagles lost to during the regular season.

"The players never quit and kept getting better," said head coach Mandy Myers '00. "It was a great group to coach and we had fun kids who wanted to get better each practice."

Kelsey Jones '16 and TJ Mills '16 were both named Dayton Daily News Athletes of the Week this season. Mills also received post-season honors including GCL All-League First Team, District 15 All Star and Honorable Mention Southwest District. Lauren Peltier '16 also received an Honorable Mention Southwest District honor and was named to the GCL All-League Second Team. Annie Weckesser '18 made the District 15 All Underclassman Team and Honorable Mention Southwest District.

Men's and Women's Bowling
The men's bowling team's record this season was 2-12 and the women's bowling team's record was 1-13. Cole Mason '16 was named to the GCL All-League Second Team.

"Both teams learned the importance of their individual games as well as how to work together as a team for the team games," said head coach Joseph Burless. "We will lose some very good seniors to graduation but I believe the core of the teams are strong enough to pick up some new players for the next season and have another productive and positive year."

Men's and Women's Swimming
Both men's and women's swimmers broke school records this season and a member of each team qualified for the state tournament. In the state championship, Macleary Moran '18 placed seventh in the 500 and 11th in the 200 freestyle events. Jorge Zelina '19 placed 12th in the 200 and 20th in the 100 freestyle events.

Eight previous CJ swimming records were broken by members of the swim teams this season. The new records set were:

Men's

  • 200 Medley Relay (1:47.11) Vincent Dang '17, Matthew Keaty '18, Phillip Hawthorn '17 and Jorge Zelina
  • 200 Backstroke (2:08.45) Vincent Dang
  • 200 Butterfly (2:17.86) Phillip Hawthorn

Women's

  • 200 Freestyle (1:53.27) Macleary Moran
  • 100 Freestyle (0:53.47) Macleary Moran
  • 500 Freestyle (5:02.70) Macleary Moran
  • 200 Backstroke (2:15.46) Macleary Moran
  • 200 Butterfly (2:39.52) Anna Kutter '19

Both men's and women's head coaches, Paul Biermann and Kate Whistler, were named the GCL Coach of the Year for their respective teams. Other GCL honors for the teams included:

  • Men's Swimming - GCL All-League Second Team: Dang, Keaty, Hawthorn and Zelina (200 Medley,) Zelina (200 Freestyle,) Dang (200 Individual Medley) and Hawthorn (500 Freestyle).
  • Women's Swimming - GCL All-League First Team: Moran (200 Freestyle and 500 Freestyle) and GCL All-League Second Team: Clara Mussin-Phillips '17 (1 Meter Diving).

Wrestling
"The wrestling team had a successful season despite having a small team," said head coach Larry Dryden.   Highlights from the season included the team finishing second place at the Oakwood Invitational and Tri-County North Panther Invitational.  Thomas McGraw '18 led the team in wins with a record of 36 – 5 and Micah Marshall '18 placed sixth at the district tournament and finished the year with a record of 31 – 11. Both Marshall and McGraw were named to the GCL All-League First Team.

Indoor Track
The indoor track team sent seven members to the state championship meet on Saturday, March 5. Christian Wortham '16 placed third in the triple jump (40'11.50") and 13th in the long jump (19'10"), Ariel Caffee '16 placed eighth in the 400 meter dash (1:00.43), Olivia Brown '16 placed 12th in weight throw (37'10") and threw 30'10" in shot put, and Micaela Colbert '18, Camille Stevenson '16, Danielle Lewis '17 and Lauren Pegues '17 placed fifth in the 4x200 relay (1:48.02).

Congratulations on a great season to all of our athletes!

Posted March 31, 2016

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Juniors and Seniors Inducted Into the National Honors Society

Scholarship, leadership, service and character are the four qualities that describe members of the National Honors Society at Chaminade Julienne. On Monday, March 21, select juniors and seniors were inducted into the elite group. 11 seniors were newly inducted as well as 47 juniors, who were in their first year of eligibility.

"To be invited to apply for membership, the student must have a 3.5 or higher GPA," Jim Sparrow, teacher and NHS moderator. "If they apply, their service, character, and leadership are scrutinized. We put Catholic teaching at the center of our chapter."

National Honors Society is more than an honor role, Sparrow added. "It means that some combination of natural ability and hard work has marked you as a person of great ability, and with great ability comes great responsibility."

The induction ceremony consisted of a candle ceremony, induction pledge, and reflection.

"I like best that we place induction in the context of the liturgy, uniting our most solemn and joyous activity with our church's most solemn and joyous activity," noted Sparrow.

The members of the 2016 National Honors Society are:

SENIORS

  • Natalie Allen
  • Taylor Bridgett
  • Taylor Burrows+
  • Michael Carper
  • Brooke Carton
  • Morgan Covert
  • Graham Curry
  • Drake Dahlinghaus
  • Amanda Draeger
  • Katarina Dranchak
  • Emma Eichenauer
  • Caitlin Erbacher
  • Marco Espino
  • Carlos Estrada-Sanchez
  • Kathryn Grismer
  • Jillian Hammerly
  • Anna Haralson
  • Jazmin Harris
  • Angela Hodapp*
  • Allison Huffman
  • William Huffman+
  • Alexander Jennison
  • Kelsey Jones*
  • Connor Jordan
  • Tabitha Jordan-Nickles*
  • Lilianne Kaminski
  • Thomas Krug
  • Manisha Kullar
  • Michaela Linehan
  • NyJia Lott
  • Rachel Marx
  • Cole Mason
  • Halle Mason
  • Timothy Menker
  • Bridget Miles
  • Anna Miller
  • Tammara Mims*
  • Niesha Montgomery*
  • Adzaan Muqtadir
  • Jacob Murray*
  • Natalie Murray
  • Emilie Nevius
  • Lauren Peltier+
  • Katharine Quinntus*
  • Maria Rains
  • Morgan Rogers*
  • Salvador Schwendeman
  • Ian Simon
  • Brandon Singleton
  • Madelyn Skinner
  • Tozjae’ Smith*
  • Audrey Springman
  • Shawn Steffan
  • Camille Stevenson
  • Sean Stewart
  • Asha Talib
  • Audrey Thacker
  • Emily Thie*
  • Thomas VanDorpe
  • Claire Vaughn
  • Clare Wade*
  • Colleen Wagoner
  • Catherine Ward
  • Matthew Weckesser+
  • Elizabeth Yeazel
  • Maureen Zopff

JUNIORS*

  • Abigail Arestides
  • Duncan Burke
  • Lauren Carton
  • Erin Colbert
  • Brandon Collins
  • Jack Dalton
  • Logan Dix
  • Caroline Eifert
  • Lauren Eifert
  • Gabrielle Elders
  • Yasmin Espino
  • Claire Evans
  • Brianna Gavin
  • Joseph Geraghty
  • Aaron Gerhard
  • Connor Goode
  • Andrew Hartley
  • Philip Hawthorn
  • Christian Hemsath
  • Kyle Hixenbaugh
  • Andrew Holmes
  • Joshua Hughes
  • Alexis Jackson
  • Kayte Jackson
  • Stephen Leik
  • Danielle Lewis
  • Olivia Livingston
  • Madison McCoy
  • Noah Meyer
  • Marcie Meyers
  • Spencer Mullins
  • Clara Mussin Phillips
  • Noah Mussin Phillips
  • Carly O’Loughlin
  • Alexia Onuoha
  • Alexis Onuoha
  • Danielle Ostendorf
  • Kelly Pleiman
  • Nathaniel Reuter
  • Elizabeth Ruetschle
  • Samuel Ruff
  • Amari Smith
  • Megan Stefan
  • Jacob Troutwine
  • Noah Walusis
  • Caroline Weiler
  • John Wick

* denotes newly inducted
+ denotes officer

Posted March 29, 2016

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Seniors Show Inner Beauty Through Capstone Project

Beauty is more than skin deep. That's why on Tuesday, March 22, several female students, faculty and staff took a pledge not to wear make-up that day. The idea came from a Senior Capstone Group consisting of Taylor Burrows, Rosie McDonald, Niesha Montgomery, Allison Potter and Madelyn Skinner.

"We all have experienced self-image problems, which normally results in the use of make-up," Skinner said. "With this day, we wanted to make girls feel more comfortable without makeup!"

"We have noticed that there is a major pressure, mostly from the media, for young girls to wear tons of makeup to fit the mold of the 'beautiful woman,'" Burrows added. "It is sad to see that so many young, already beautiful, girls feel the need to change the way they look.  The event was not created to completely bash on make-up because we do not hate make-up; rather, it was created to appreciate the inner, raw beauty that ALL women have no matter what."

The group's mentor, Jama Badinghaus noted that several Senior Capstone groups this year have focused their projects on creating a better self-image.

"It is striking to me that so many groups have decided to focus on the topic of positive self-image among girls," Badinghaus said.  "What I have learned from these students is that they have truly been impacted by the sometimes less than subtle voices that they have seen and heard in the media, in magazines, and even from their peers as they have grown up.  They have a real desire to combat that noise with a different voice - one that reminds them that real beauty is much deeper than any picture or image can tell.

"When addressing how this image relates to issues of faith and justice, the girls have focused on the importance of the dignity of every person and the reminder that we are all truly made in God's image," Badinghaus continued.  "The high school years are incredibly challenging and formative years.  The messages engrained in young people during these years will likely inform much of who they become and the truths they hold.  If young women can graduate from Chaminade Julienne with a greater spirit of confidence, an increased spirit of authenticity, and increased respect for the individuality of their peers then they will leave equipped to truly change this world for the better.  Foregoing make-up for a day is a small way to empower these young women as they seek to embody those characteristics."

Nearly 100 students, faculty and staff participated in the Capstone group's endeavor. The seniors added they want to continue their promotion of inner-beauty by having more days like this.

"I was very pleased with the number of girls that participated and even some men wore stickers to promote the day," Burrows reflected. "I definitely wish we could have gotten more girls to participate but with this being the first day, I am happy we had a good turnout.  With the upcoming 'no-makeup' or 'natural hair' days that we are working on, we hope to set up more tables during different times of the day to get more participants."

Skinner agreed, "I hope everyone sees that they do not need makeup to be beautiful!" 

Posted March 24, 2016

STEMM Idol: Rachel Easter & Keshia Kinney

In conjunction with World Water Day, Rachel Easter and Keshia Kinney, who work in the City of Dayton Water Department, shared their expertise about water safety and distribution with students as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 22.

Easter is a Water Bacteriologist-Chemist at the Water Department. She was the Trotwood-Madison High School Salutatorian and graduated in 2009. She received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Forensic Science and Chemistry from Trine University in 2012. Easter has been working at the City of Dayton Water Department for almost two years.

Kinney is a Water Treatment Technical Supervisor at the Water Department. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences from Wright State University in 2001 and stayed at Wright State to earn her Master's of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2004. Kinney has been with the City of Dayton Water Department since 2005. She began as a Water Chemist/Bacteriologist and became a Water Treatment Technical Supervisor in 2013.

During their presentation, the women gave students an in-depth look at how water is distributed in the City of Dayton and to most of Montgomery County.

"I think they were surprised to learn that Dayton provides most of the drinking water to the county," Easter said.

Kinney shared with the students steps the city takes to protect its water. She added that while all Dayton water is tested regularly, at two city plants, the water is tested 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"As a public health professional, it's your job to make sure that you protect public health," Kinney shared. "If you're not protecting public health, you're not doing your job. Not to mention, most of us drink this water, so you would also be putting yourself and your family at risk."

Easter demonstrated students part of her job, which is identifying if there are unsafe materials in the water. She used a fluorescent light to show what water would look like if it had e-coli in it.

"Every single day I get to see the impact of my work and know that I help prevent anything bad getting into the water," Easter noted.

Both women agreed that students interested in getting into the water treatment field should begin by going to college.

Kinney said, "Students would have to have a Bachelor's degree in some form of science for example, environmental health and safety or chemistry. They would also need to be willing to get advanced training that the EPA offers."

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

 

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Walk to State: Poetry Out Loud

Update: Congratulations to Thomas for winning the state Poetry Out Loud competition! He will now compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C. May 2-4.

Road to State: Surrounded by the clapping and cheering of the CJ community, Thomas Ellison '16 participated in a "Walk to State" on Friday, March 18. Ellison will be representing CJ as one of 12 students competing in the state Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition.

"It is humbling to be one of 12 selected in the whole state but at the same time I have to take it to them and be dominate," said Ellison. "I am capable of being the best, I just have to do it."

The way to this year's state competition, both at CJ and at the state-level, was different compared to years past.

"There are two significant changes to the POL system this year," explained English teacher Jim Brooks. "After the classroom competitions, we had a school-wide competition in which 40 classroom winners recited just one poem. From that group, the top 12 advanced to the school finals and Thomas was declared the winner.  Also, instead of the school-wide winner going straight to the state competition, Thomas had to compete in the southwest region to make it to state.  He and students from two other schools advanced.  I think this extended system has enabled Thomas to take more time to improve his recitations each step of the way.

"Thomas is the first male student to represent CJ, and he has a very nice feel for poetry," Brooks continued.  "He infuses the poems, all three of which are very challenging, with his own charm and personality, while finding the voice of the poets who wrote them."

Ellison has prepared three poems for the state competition. The Delta by Bruce Bond, Translations from the English by George Starbuck and The Affliction of Richard by Robert Bridges.

"Thomas has done a lot of practicing on his own and has viewed DVD recordings of past POL champions," Brooks noted. "Thomas has also worked with Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin three times a week to improve his recitation skills.  Dr. Martin is professor emeritus of the University of Dayton and one of the finest and best-known poets in Ohio."

"I pray every day for God to give me strength to remember every word and say it with power and energy," Ellison added about his preparations. "I have worked with Dr. Martin who is nationally known for his poetry. I listen to music right before my competition and sit alone somewhere and mentally rehearse me doing well and winning."

Brooks emphasized, "POL is a competition that brings students together in a unique way and exposes them to many great poems and poets throughout the ages.  It gives more than 3/4 of all our students every year a chance to be 'on stage' as well as going through the process of choosing, memorizing and interpreting the meaning of a work of literature.  It also brings our English department together in a special way to facilitate the whole process.  Thomas going to state is icing on the cake, and we wish him all the best to achieve a state title."

The state Poetry Out Loud competition will be held Saturday, March 19 at the WOSU station in COSI in downtown Columbus.

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C-SPAN Bus Makes a Stop at CJ

Students coming in and out of a bus on a school day is usually uneventful. But on Friday, March 18, nearly 100 students went inside the C-SPAN interactive multimedia presentation center bus when it made a stop at CJ.

"We go to different middle schools, high school and universities and talk about C-SPAN and all of our non-partisan resources," shared Vanessa Torres, a marketing representative with C-SPAN. 

The C-SPAN bus has been on tours across the United States since 1993. The network reached out to CJ about the opportunity to stop at the school after a recommendation from a Daytonian.

"I'm glad they came to our school and it was really interesting to see it," noted Noah Jackson '19.

On the bus, Torres talked to the students about C-SPAN's mission and highlighted features on the bus including informative touch-screen TVs and a mini-control room that is used if there is a live TV broadcast from the bus.

"A lot of these students are learning about civics and U.S. government," Torres reflected. "For us, we want them to know they have a network to turn to when they're interested in learning more about politics."

CJ Principal John Marshall '86 added, "I think this gives our students a good first hand look at how the news is processed and as the consumers of it, how we can form our decisions. It's always helpful to have discerning decision makers, especially as we, and our future voters, grow."

Dayton-area leaders, including State Representatives Niraj Antani, Steve Huffman and Fred Strahorn and Dayton City Commissioner Dan Foley '83 also stopped by CJ on Friday to see the C-SPAN bus.

"I think this was a great opportunity to show the political process and how students can get informed," said Huffman.

Emma Eichenauer '16 and Stephen Hoendorf '16 both enjoyed the experience to learn more about C-SPAN and the network's bus.

"I thought it was pretty cool to go inside and see everything they're about," Hoendorf shared. "It's also cool that they're unbiased."

Eichenauer agreed, "I thought it was fun to see the touch-screens and see what they offer." 

The C-SPAN bus had been in Ohio all week for the state's primary and was traveling to Cincinnati after the visit to CJ.

"All of the students were engaging so this has been an awesome school to visit," Torres remarked.

In the News:

Read WDTN's report about the C-SPAN bus visit here.

See the Dayton Business Journal's report about the C-SPAN bus visit here.

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C.O.P.E. Gives Juniors Insight into Social Classes

What does it mean to be in poverty, or to be labeled as middle class or wealthy? The students in the Class of 2017 experienced real-life scenarios of what society can be like through the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) on Tuesday, March 15.

“The youth COPE is relevant for students in grades 7-12 because in the simulation, they are doing activities many students their age do like go on spring break, go to school, and get a car,” explained Heather Cunningham, the training director of Think Tank, the organization behind COPE. “We worked with several different partner groups, churches, and youth groups that helped us build the scenarios to make sure they were relevant.”

“I wanted students to understand that especially in Dayton, we are really geographically separated according to social class,” added John Wilson, a facilitator of COPE and a high school teacher at the Greene County Career Center. “On my way to work everyday, I see a big sign that says, ‘Homes for sale in the $140, $150, and $160 thousand dollars.’ What that means is that community has been designed for a very narrow segment of the population when we look at a socioeconomic class. Because of that, students have a really difficult time having and understanding empathy of what it is like to live a very well-resourced life or live a very under-resourced life.”

When the juniors arrived to the simulation, they were randomly assigned to be in one of the three socioeconomic classes - poverty, middle class or wealthy. COPE consisted of four sessions (find employment, spring break, shopping spree/buy a car, and school) with breaks in-between each session for a small group debriefing. During each session, students were asked to complete activities based upon their socioeconomic status. While students in the “wealthy” class got to go to the country club and have private tutoring, students in the “middle class” and “poverty” rushed to find employment.

“I didn’t get a job in the first session but then I went back when we were on spring break and I got a job,” shared Allison Logan ‘17. “I thought I would get a job right away because I was middle class.”

Tucker Bullock '17, who was also in the middle class, had trouble getting a job as well. During the first session, Bullock was sitting down at a table and said, “I feel that if this was in real life, I would be bored because I don’t want to spend my money but all the jobs are going to fill up pretty soon. I’m going to sit here and be patient.”

Cunningham explained that is was harder for “middle class” students to get a job because while they may be more educated than a student in “poverty,” there are more people in the “middle class” overall.

Briana Gavin ‘17, who was in the poverty class, was hired on for a job at a fast-food restaurant.

“I feel like I would be doing this forever and there are not any other opportunities,” Gavin said. “It’s discouraging and makes me not want to do anything else.”

Instead of looking for a job, some students from each class were given the role of being a “connector.”

“The connector roles gives students the script to build that relationship across class lines,” Cunningham revealed.

Wilson added, “One of the things we have the students in the wealthy class do is package up some canned goods for those in poverty. We have them go over to the folks in poverty and tell them ‘here, I thought you might need this,’ and then walk away, so there is no connection. The goal is for the students to pick up on that awkwardness and sense that it doesn’t feeling right. This ushers in the discussion that if we really do want to help out folks in other parts of the community, then what does that need to look like?”

In the second session, most of the “wealthy” students went on the simulated spring break because they had an abundance of finances. However, some “middle class” students also came to spring break, but they were not allowed to be in the same section as the “wealthy.” Despite the divide, the juniors still wanted to have fun together, and were seen tossing a beach ball across the fictional socioeconomic line.

“I think if the wealthy saw the struggles the poverty and middle class have every day it would change their perception on how they live and how they can take advantage of their opportunities and money to help others,” shared Clarence Reed ’17, who was in the wealthy class.

“The things that happened today challenged some of our students’ ideas about what it means to be in each of these social classes,” added religion teacher Karen Emmerich. “I think this opened their eyes about the differences among them but also helped develop their sense of empathy and understanding of how the world works.”

At the end of the simulation, the facilitators gathered all juniors together and asked them to think deeper about the meaning of poverty.

“So often we look at poverty through a material lens, it’s all about the financial resources,” Cunningham told the students. “The fact of the matter is we all have a level of poverty in our life if we are looking at it through a holistic lens. We could be spiritually broken or we could be isolated, so there are lots of ways we could be in poverty.” 

Wilson agreed, “When we talk about different resources, some people can be very high and some people can be very low. Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for someone who has a lot of wealth to get into heaven. I think what He was talking about was even if someone has a lot of material wealth, they could be spiritually poor. That’s one of the ways we want kids to change and broaden their definition of poverty.”

Emmerich added that this simulation also tied in with the Pope’s call for a Year of Mercy. “Empathy is so important to be merciful; so that understanding of what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes and not judge choices that you wouldn’t make because you don’t have that empathy. Hopefully the students came away with a sense of empathy to be less judgmental and more merciful.”

You can learn more behind Think Tank’s COPE simulation here.

  

Capstone Works to Change Young Girls' Perception

"Real girls are never perfect  and perfect girls are never real."

That was one of the messages Das'Ja Sanford, Tozjae Smith, Camille Stevenson, and Gabby Turner recently shared with 7th and 8th grade female students at Our Lady Rosary School as part of their Senior Capstone Project. Their Capstone focused on the stereotypes social media portrays of women.

"It was important for us to talk to middle school students because it's their growing time," said Turner. "Especially now, they have a lot of social media thrown at them. I think this was the best time to tell them what they should and shouldn't do, and what they can do as a woman."

"I think it was important to show them that it's okay to be themselves," added Stevenson. "You don't have to look or act like the women you see in the media. Middle school is a critical time for change and you start to look and feel different, so I want them to go through that process in a positive way."

The seniors said they began creating their idea for this project last year in their religion classes.

"In Mr. Mominee's class, I was surprised to learn how fake the media can be," shared Sanford. "It is really brain-washing girls to make them think they have to be something that doesn't even exist."

Smith noted, "Last year, a group of us made a song about this topic to show what society thinks women should be like."

During the presentation to the younger girls, the seniors shared real-life experiences they have encountered through social media.

"We wanted them to see that we have gone through the same struggles as them," Stevenson explained. "Hopefully, they took away the idea that they are made in God's image, and this alone makes up their value and worth. No magazine or Instagram post should have a negative influence on how they see themselves."

"Social media has really changed in the last few years," observed the group's mentor, Kary Ellen Berger. "I am sure five years from now there will be another social media platform that hasn't even been created yet. The thing that will not change, though, is social media's negativity and social pressures."

As part of their presentation, the seniors divided the middle school girls into smaller groups for more intimate discussions about false portrayals on social media.

"We wanted to let them know it's OK to be themselves," said Smith. "If they have self-confidence at a young age, they will be able to handle pressure they may face in high school."

Sanford added, "I wanted them to know they can do anything and they don't have to post something online that is fake. I wanted them to walk away feeling comfortable with their morals and their beliefs and being able to post that instead."

At the end of the presentation, each middle school girl was given a post-it note to write an encouraging statement about themselves. The girls were prompted to write statements using #Iam and #weare. Some of the statements the girls wrote were #iambrave, #wearestrong, and #iamgoodenoughfortheworld to name a few. The girls then shared their statements with their classmates and put their statement on a poster board. Later, the girls received a bag filled with treats that had an empowering quote on the front.

"I want the girls to be more confident in who they are and be inspired by us," said Turner. "I would say we're pretty confident with who we are and we want them to be confident with who they are."

Hoopla STEM Challenge Brings Hundreds to CJ

Basketball and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - “What better combination could there be?”

Hundreds of people agreed with CJ STEMM Coordinator Meg Draeger as Chaminade Julienne once again served as the host site of the Hoopla STEM Challenge on Sunday, March 13.

“STEM is very important to our community and STEM is also important to the NCAA,” said Scott Sullivan with the Hoopla Organizing Committee. “STEM is additionally important to CJ so it was a natural fit.”

The Hoopla STEM Challenge was initiated in 2012. Sullivan said attendance has increased 20% each year, with this year’s attendance estimated well over 500.

The free event, for students in grades K-8, had participants shooting hoops, visiting and learning at STEM exhibits and enjoying food provided by Marion’s Piazza and W.G. Grinders. Former University of Dayton Men’s Basketball player Devin Oliver was on hand at this year’s event to show students how they could win prizes, including t-shirts, First Four tickets and iPads, all by making baskets. STEM exhibitors, including DP&L, Premier Health, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base, had hands-on activities for the students.

“Our room contained hands-on, fun puzzles and challenges,” Draeger explained in reference to the CJ STEMM exhibit. “We had mini-engineering challenges that were mostly self-explanatory and exploratory. Generally the parents were enjoying these activities too.”

Abby Arestides ’17 was one of several CJ students who volunteered to help out at the Hoopla STEM Challenge.

“I am in the Project Lead the Way biomed program and this is something fun to do on the weekend,” shared Arestides.

Volunteers and participants both agreed the Hoopla STEM Challenge is a unique event for the Dayton community.

“I think the Hoopla STEM Challenge is a great opportunity for students especially at such a young age,” Arestides noted. “I never even heard of half of this stuff until I went to high school and they are experiencing it now so it’s pretty cool.”

“This does not happen anywhere else,” agreed Sullivan. “That’s what makes the Big Hoopla and the First Four activities around Dayton different than anywhere else around the world.”

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