finding inner peace
Born: April 29, 2015
Purpose: “Peace” to remind us that not only do we need to seek and encourage peace in the world, but also within ourselves.
Current Location: The Delta Program. Westerly Parkway, State College PA 16801
Created by: Delta and RIT program students in collaboration with Mel Forkner Lesher, Mark Pilato, Chris Bittner, Nancy Vicere and Marisa Vicere
Sponsored by: State College Area School District
AKA: Fred, which means “Peace” in Scandinavian languages
“Those who live in harmony with themselves live in harmony with the world.” — Marcus Aurelius
Believing in ourselves, being at peace with who we are and gaining in self-confidence all are important to our ability to live happy, healthy lives.
It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts about ourselves: “I would love myself if I were stronger, smarter, thinner, prettier, etc.” These thoughts can overwhelm us and sometimes we actually can start to believe them. During our time at The Delta Program we learned that sometimes we can be our own worst bully. We all need to be aware of negative thoughts and find healthy ways to block and move beyond them.
The Delta Stomper was given the name “Peace” to remind us that not only do we need to seek and encourage peace in the world, but also within ourselves.
Creating the Stomper
Students of the Delta Program came together to discuss issues around our mental and emotional well-being, healthy vs. unhealthy ways to cope with stress, and ways we can support one another through life.
Messages of hope and encouragement were written on parts of the sneakers to help remind us how we are perfect just the way we are. Throughout our time together, students participated in the “Marshmallow Challenge,” learned about creative writing, practiced finding our voice through theatre, art as a form of healing and relaxation, and even participated in drum circles.
“Peace” was unveiled on April 29, 2015 at the Delta Auditorium. Students created original music, writings, and dance performances focusing on mental and emotional health for the unveiling.
Most of us struggled when asked, “Name one thing you love about yourself.” Why was this?
- Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
- It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts about ourselves: “I would love myself if I were stronger, smarter, thinner, prettier, etc.” These thoughts can overwhelm us and sometimes we actually can start to believe them.
- We all need to be aware of negative thoughts and find healthy ways to block and move beyond them.
The masks we wear
Middle and High School years are a time of turbulence and change. Sometimes these changes can make us feel overwhelmed and/or uncomfortable.
We discussed how sometimes we put on a “mask” to hide our emotions and any insecurities we might have. We do this because we might be uncomfortable with a situation, we might need to be different to belong, or we might be scared to share how we really feel. There are thousands of masks that we wear (at all ages) and sometimes we wear multiple within a given day.
During our time at Delta, we created masks that examined how we feel on the inside vs. how we feel on the outside.
“I loved this activity. It reminded me to become more aware with how I’m feeling and that it’s okay to explore them.” said one tenth grade student.
Healthy ways to cope with our emotions:
Everyone experiences hundreds of emotions every day, some positive and some negative. Having someone you trust and who you feel comfortable sharing your emotions with can be very beneficial. Other great ways to cope include:
- Keep a Journal
- Do Something You Love
- Get Outdoors
- Reflect on the Situation
- Take a “Time Out”
- Figure Out What’s In Your Control
- Learn Relaxation Techniques
- Find Balance
- Be Resilient
The Delta Program Stomper was made possible through the generous support of the Delta Program, State College Area School District and our partners.
Our Artists: Chris Bittner, Mark Pilato, Mel Forkner Lesher, Marisa Vicere, Nancy Vicere
Curriculum Development: Marisa Vicere
Delta Program Supporters: Jon Downs, Holly Foy, Cheryl Price, and the countless teachers who participated
Our Partners: Pam Monk, Rachel Love, Amelia McGinnis, Jon Vickers-Jones, Laura Van Vessler, Rhonda Stern, Al Vicere
Simply Us (A love song for my brain)https://hereallweek.bandcamp.com/track/simply-us-a-love-song-for-my-brain
“Simply Us (A Love Song For My Brain)” was written for Mark Pilato and the Jana Marie Foundation for their Stompers Project. A project to educate the community about mental health and helps stomp out the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Help us spread this message of mental health awareness! – Here all week
“Peace” is a simple word to encourage positive thoughts about oneself and to erase those negative thoughts. I was created by the Delta and RIT program students. I am here to encourage others to believe in themselves and be at peace with who they are.
Love, peace (AKA Fred)
There is help. There is hope.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health concern or crisis, please reach out for help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741
Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Trans Life Line: 1-877-565-8860