Palo Alto has had its share of soulful leaders and creative trailblazers, from the technical wizardry of Steve Jobs to the thespian savvy of James Franco. The next great artist, engineer or entrepreneur could be just down the street, studying Einstein or Shakespeare. One opportunity for aspiring youths to realize their potential is Camp Everytown.
Mary Ellen Bena, secretary of Palo Alto High School’s Special Education Department and a close personal friend of Watercourse Way, is helping raise awareness about the program. Mary Ellen is working with the Palo Alto Fire Department and others to raise funds for the program, as 40 percent of prospective students require financial aid.
“Camp Everytown is an intensive youth leadership development program based on core values — respect, acceptance, and responsibility — that promote non-violent campus communities,” the website states. “The nationally recognized program focuses students’ attention and promotes learning by taking them out of their daily environment and guiding them through intense interactions that provoke deep insight and empathy for others.”
Anyone interested in donating to this remarkable program can do so here. You can also learn more by visiting the website, reading the Mercury News article or watching this YouTube video. With a little help, greatness can continue to emerge from this wonderful city we have come to love so dearly. The website also states: “Life-changing and transformative, Camp Everytown replaces everyday prejudice with understanding and appreciation for every student.”
Replacing prejudice with appreciation is a goal we can all get behind.
– Tyler Hanley
Watercourse Way staff