Class of 2016’s junior retreat focuses on unity

Janelle Medrano, Reporter

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“Up and Away” was the theme for the junior retreat at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center on Apr. 10.

The retreat emphasized the importance of healthy peer relationships and understanding the importance of unity as a class.

Retreat leaders, juniors Elizabeth Fischer and Nicole Pagdilao, and 13 volunteer leaders helped to prepare for the day-long retreat.

Pagdilao said, “The retreat team and I decided to focus our retreat on the importance of building stronger relationships as a class because we saw that there are many different cliques in our class. We hoped that this retreat would allow everyone to talk with people that they normally don’t talk to at school.”

Sessions focused on how to effectively work together in different situations and how to enhance relationships with one another.

Dana Fuerte said, “My favorite part of the retreat was the open mic session because I believe that it was the pivot, demonstrating our class bond. I have never felt a stronger connection with my classmates until I heard them share their stories of when they felt at their lowest points. Watching each one of us comfort one another made me feel as though I had other people to support me.”

Through the many activities, students had the opportunity to reflect on themselves as individuals to discover their own strengths and weaknesses.

Shajaira Fiesta said, “There was an activity when we had to write down our burdens and then share them with our small group. While participating in this activity, I learned that although everyone has burdens in their lives, our friends will always be by our side to support us.”

Retreat leaders and coordinators worked hard for two weeks to make the retreat worthwhile.

Fischer said, “As one of the coordinators, I had the responsibility to organize the basic parts for the retreat, making sure everything went along smoothly. Overall, I think the retreat was absolutely wonderful and was much better than I had expected. The majority of our class actively participated and seemed to enjoy the activities, the food and the discussions.”