Synergy at Citrus Valley encourages sharing, support

​After being mentored by Redlands East Valley earlier this year, CV students hosted their first Synergy on Sept. 30. Synergy allows people to reconnect on a personal level and find out more about one another. In today’s world people are often led through the days by looking at a vibrant screen known as a cell phone. People often forget that everyone is going through a struggle, may that struggle be minor or major, everyone is going through something. Synergy reminds people to be more kind, to be understanding, and to be nicer all around.

The morning started off with apprehension and nervousness from over 100 CV kids that were present. To ease the tension, icebreaker games were played in order to gain a comfortable atmosphere. Family groups were then formed that consisted of two link crew leaders and about five to six students who were invited to Synergy. Five speakers who were picked prior to this day, spoke in front of the large crowd about a personal struggle they have experienced throughout life. To most people, it was shocking to hear what these five individuals have gone through. Tears quickly filled the gymnasium as people were overwhelmed by hearing the struggles their own peers have experienced. Joshua Alban, one of the main speakers of the day was overwhelmed by the amount of support he received. Alban was at first worried if people would care or even listen. Once he opened up and got positive feedback he was relieved and happy to have that support from others. One of the unique aspects of Synergy is how people are able to open up to complete strangers yet feel comfortable doing so. After the main speakers told their stories, the family groups united again where people were given an opportunity of sharing their own “balloon story.”

Once the family groups got together they played a couple of quick name games to get to know each other a little bit better.  Family groups allowed for each member to share their own personal stories, and allowed each member to express exactly what stress and pressure was filling their balloon with air. The stories that each member shared allowed for a the pressure that was contained within the students to for once be released, as they were finally able to let all their worries out for once. The point of the balloon story is to pop the stress (air) out of their balloons, and to connect with their peers on a deeper level. The students that participated with sharing their balloon stories were a mixture of both juniors and seniors, this allowed for the upperclassmen to be brought together as one big group and connect on a deeper level than just on social media. All stories that were shared were open for discussion no matter how big or small they were, it allowed for everyone in the group to learn more about their fellow classmates and peers.

After discussing balloon stories with one another, the family groups and members all merged together to begin the cross the line activity. Cross the line was hosted by Sierrah Long and Vincent Mendez, as they both stated certain situations, if a student had or is going through that they would cross the line. It was quite evident that many students have gone through similar situations and hardships in life, and cross the line emphasized this and allowed for these similarities to be recognized. Cross the line was a silent activity that brought all the students participating in synergy to be focused on one another. As students would cross the line, the students that would stay behind would send out the sign language signal for love to give the other students support and encouragement.

Synergy was a huge success and will most likely be an annual event at Citrus Valley. The unity and support is something Citrus Valley students will try to implement every day. Synergy truly reminds people to always be kind even towards strangers, because you never know what people go through.

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