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PHS Teens Benefit from Speak Out

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PHS Teens Benefit from Speak Out
Posted on 03/07/2019
This is the image for the news article titled PHS Teens Benefit from Speak Out

Portland High School on March 1 became the first school in Maine to participate in Teen Speak Out: an all-day experiential program facilitated and led by students and mentors to strengthen the school community and create a positive and inclusive climate.

About 60 student participants, 25 student facilitators, and eight teacher-mentors participated in the Teen Speak Out, said Andrea Levinsky, the high school’s Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator, who coordinated the event. It was facilitated by Tabitha May-Tolub of Roots & Wings, which provides training and consultation for youth and the adults in the areas of leadership, communication and identity development, and by student facilitators, who had three days of training to get ready for the big day.

When asked what they liked about Teen Speak Out, students said:

  • * "It was a good way to address the problems at Portland High, and how we can fix those as well as how we can bond as a school and really come together."
  • *"I would say that it is a fun and interesting program that can push you out of your comfort zone, and it makes you think about ways we can improve our school community."
  • *“We got to speak to people we don’t talk to each and every day. It was amazing and I hope PHS does it again.
  • *"I liked that different students came together and connected about PHS."
  • *"It was an amazing experience. It was lots of fun and felt like a safe environment. I also met a lot of people and learned more about people than what I knew."

Some specific things students said they learned from the experience were:

  • *"Everyone has struggles and we need to remember and understand that before making assumptions."
  • *"How to open up to new people."

The PHS Teen Speak Out event was sponsored by Unum, Martin's Point, and Seeds of Peace. There were gifts in kind from BJ's, Frito Lay, Subway, and Coca Cola.
Teen Speak Out photo