Peer Leaders Speak Out About Changing Lives

One unique component of Changing Lives is the leadership role that alumni ensemble members can assume in the ensemble as Peer Leaders. These ensemble members participate in all of the typical ensemble activities, but also go above and beyond to make the ensemble a welcoming, inclusive environment where everyone can belong and be heard.

In this post, our three Peer Leaders share their feelings about Changing Lives and their favorite moments from this season…

Colton Gillum, 4 ½ years in the ensemble

Colton Gillum

One of my favorite memories is the beginning of every single year that very first day – or even at auditions – when you are just sitting there next to someone who you don’t know. Then you start interacting with each other. You don’t even realize it, but soon you are bonding with a complete stranger.

Cole Buford, 3 years in the ensemble

Cole Buford

Cole is a music lover and expressed their feelings about Changing Lives through quotes from some of their favorite songs.

“I’ll take a stand, right here with my friends”
– “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” by A Day to Remember

“This is my time, this is my time to shine.”
– “Monument” by A Day to Remember

“You’re not alone anymore.”
– “You’re Not Alone” by of Mice and Men

“Rise up and celebrate your life.”
– “The Ritual” by Black Veil Brides

These quotes/songs are what I think of when I go to Changing Lives. This group has become a wonderful, safe, and inspiring place for me and others, and these past few months have cemented that belief.

Amani JK Alexander, 2 years in the ensemble

Amani Alexander

The most memorable time from this year was when we all photographed our opening check-in and posted them to various social media platforms. Most art forms have pushed away the idea of utilizing technology, but Changing Lives believes that to reach youth we should express ourselves on a platform that will reach them. This is one of the many ways that Changing Lives is innovating activist theatre.


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