During the week of March 25th, 2013, the second year of SPEAK Week came to WHS. “SPEAK” Week stands for Sharing Personal Experiences and Knowledge.” The event started on Monday and went through Friday, and each day there were different activities to show new ways to express yourself, as well as different inspirational speakers. One day there was the “I Am” activity, which consisted of having your picture taken and describing yourself in one word, which would then be published in a poster to be hung around the school. Another day there was dancing and food from different countries, courtesy of the International Club.

A new teacher Mr. Bresnihan says, “I was asked to help [organize SPEAK Week] because I am a social worker [and] SPEAK Week is about kids being open to diversity.” Learning about different cultures can help students connect with each other and learn something new.

Senior, Michelle Gallego enjoyed participating in the activities, especially the speakers. “Usually I love the speakers, but because I couldn’t attend one this year, being a part of the “I Am” photo booth activity was my highlight.” This year the guest speaker talked about her gay son and the outcomes of being bullied. She mentioned that her son was bullied so badly that they moved a lot.

To some people, participating in SPEAK Week is more that just doing an activity, it is about learning about yourself and being a part of something. “During SPEAK week, diverse clubs raised awareness of their clubs’ missions and aims through fun activities, also, they worked to increase a sense of community among students,” said Michelle.

SPEAK Week can affect each person in a different way, introducing everyone to different cultures and allowing everyone to learn new things about themselves as well as each other. “SPEAK week is important to WHS because it allows everyone to come together for the week in honor of the clubs and celebrate everyone’s differences and traits,” said Michelle.  Teacher, John Bresnihan, said, “kids get exposed to new things [during] SPEAK Week, it gives them a chance to learn about other cultures.”

Judging by the amount of enthusiasm the students showed during SPEAK Week this year, having one next year would be a very positive idea. The students and teachers all participated and learned something different about themselves throughout the entire event, and given the positive reactions and feedback, SPEAK Week may soon become an honored WHS tradition.