Imagine sitting in a circle with a group of strangers. You are nervous, unsure of what the year ahead of you might bring, unsure of what friendships might be formed, adventures undertaken, challenges met in the year to come. You are assured you will become friends with each other. You will learn, grow, change, create, motivate and support each other. Unlike school, where many times a group of thirty can go months or even years without talking to everyone in their class, Changing Lives is different.
Last year I watched in awe as the group formed, quickly, and real friendships were made. Over the summer, students became a mini family- and the retreat we took together solidified those bonds. Now, in week two of the Fall session of CLYTE, the bonding is beginning. We spent the first week getting to know each other- learning names, backgrounds, sharing bits and pieces of who we were. Week two, thing begin to gel even more quickly.
The students are promised that they will become friends, real friends “no fake-sies,” and have each others backs for the year to come. In our social contract we emphasize support, encouragement, a safe place to learn and grow creatively together. What we have in CLYTE is something special, and I can’t wait for what the year will bring.
–Susie Gidseg, Managing Director, Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble