Advanced Peer Counseling brings harmony to OPHS

Svoboda: “Climate of compassion”

The 2019 Awareness Week hosted by Advanced Peer Counseling featured presentations given by guest speakers including Gracie Fisher, therapist Evan Simmons, the identity coexistence student panel and the Anti Defamation League’s No Place for Hate presentation, lead by Brianna Moffitt.

Awareness week, which took place December 2-6, is where various events are held for students to attend to learn about ideas such as diversity, bias and acceptance, all tied to this year’s theme of “harmony.”

“I believe that these types of events promote unity and create a climate of compassion and understanding on our campus,” counselor Janet Svoboda wrote. “The team felt that Harmony was an important theme that emphasized unity and connectedness.”

Senior and APC co-president Grace Hassanieh described harmony as in terms of having peace with people and the world around us.

“We liked the idea of harmony to make the campus one that is accepting to all diversity, where students can be at peace with others,” Hassanieh wrote. “That also includes being at peace with one’s self and accepting who you are.”

The theme had extra significance as it precedes finals.

“I thought the theme of harmony was perfect timing and helped all of us stay calm during the stress of finals,” junior and advanced peer counselor Jordan Julius said.

According to Svoboda, one of this year’s guest speakers, Grace Fisher, shared her “powerful story of resilience,” during one of the presentations.

“Those who attended were touched by her impactful and touching story, how although she is paralyzed, she is still pursuing her dreams and giving back to the community,” Svoboda wrote.

Galia Broussi, one of this week’s speakers, expressed how she enjoyed speaking during her presentation.

“It was nice to get out in the open what people like me go through for other people to understand,” Broussi said.