“I thought Challenge Day was just going to be all fun, but it also turned out to be very emotional. What was so great was that it really made us feel more connected as a school. It reminded us that we are never alone, and that our friends may be going through a lot more than we know. I think every school should have a Challenge Day because it really brought us together. Things feel different now.”

- 8th Grade Student, STRIVE Prep Montbello

“Challenge Day really gave us a chance to get to really know people better - to see another side of people we thought we knew. It’s helped me open up and trust people more. We don’t do this kind of thing every day. We don’t always let people in, maybe because we don’t want them to see what we’ve really been through. But Challenge Day is different. My vision for the future at MBC is that every middle schooler has the chance to do Challenge Day. Things feel different now.”

- 8th Grade Student, STRIVE Prep Montbello


“Challenge Day truly brought our 8th grade class together. The next morning, when I was shaking hands as students came to school, I could really feel the love - the vibes felt different. It was so good for me to have the chance to be vulnerable in front of my students. For students who were unsure at the beginning of the day, seeing me and other teachers get vulnerable really helped them feel comfortable to do the same thing. We definitely plan to have Challenge Day back next year.”

- STRIVE Prep Montbello Dean of Culture

“When I walked in and saw all my teachers making a tunnel and cheering like crazy, I was like – wow! This is going to be a different kind of day! My favorite part of the day was the emotion. Challenge Day really broke people down, in a good way. It made us really think about our lives and re-think ideas we’ve had. Cross the line was a really powerful way to see what others have been through. I hope this happens at every school. I hope everyone get the opportunity to open up and let others know the real you. After Challenge Day, I went home and thanked my Mom for always taking such good care of me, for keeping our household strong. Our school is different now. We know what hurts others, so we don’t say things behind each other’s backs as much.”

- 10th Grade Student, DC-21


“I’ve never experienced anything like Challenge Day. It makes you realize that lots of people have had hard lives, it’s not just you. Challenge Day helped me see that everyone feelings, and that their feelings are important and real. I noticed that after Challenge Day, the cliques aren’t as strong. Sure, we all still have our friends, but we are better about hanging out with people outside our friend groups. We are more accepting, more like a family. The day made me realize we have to work together - not against one another - to be successful. Challenge Day is important because it also helps adults realize what kids are going through how they truly feel on the inside - I saw my teacher’s cry as they got to know us and our struggles. They got to see what’s inside our hearts, and we saw inside theirs.”

– 8th Grade Student, DC -21

“After Challenge Day, I’ve seen a lot of changes between staff and students. The relationships are stronger. We actually had a Mom call in the day after Challenge Day because her son had told her about Cross the Line, and how during that activity, a teacher he didn’t like much crossed the line for the same as him. It really helped him see his teachers in a new light.”

– Social Worker, DC-21