Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Be the Change - Greater Nashville Circle of Change

Beth Younginer of Brentwood has really stepped "outside the bubble" in the last year and a half. Summer of 2007, Beth became aware of the Circle of Change Challenge Day project and jumped in with both feet. A great informational event happens Thursday, May 7 which will undoubtedly change lives (see more below). The website of this organization quotes, "Imagine a school where a child feels safe, loved, and celebrated where bullying, violence and other forms of oppression are things of the past. This is the work of Challenge Day." Many of you may be familiar with this program through its national exposure on Oprah and other talk shows.
Beth has worked diligently since last spring to bring this concept to our Williamson County schools contacting principals, vice principals and every active volunteer she could find to spread the word. The first Challenge Day in Williamson County was at Centennial High School at the end of last school year. The principal was overwhelmed with the results and truly believed it would change her school.

Brentwood Middle School students signed up over the summer for their first challenge day and it was held at the beginning of the school year. My eighth grade daughter participated and is still talking about how it changed her perspective on all other students at school. Freshman at Brentwood High School soon followed and had their first Challenge Day late fall of 2008. Woodland Middle School and Ravenwood High School followed suit and now over 2,000 Williamson County students have been through this program. Beth says, "It's truly a God thing. I was new to the area and didn't know anyone, but it just keep going. I hope to double that number of kids in the next year."

What happens at a Challenge Day? The kids start out having fun and presented with a set of challenges. They work on getting more and more real. Each student sees the insecurity and vulnerability of all those around you. Beth explains, "We ask them to say, "If you really knew me..." and then let people get real in this safe environment. You begin to see people through the eyes of truth." They realize that in their awkward teenage self-concerned world, they don't always see the truth around them. The more people feel connected, the less likely they are to hurt each other. The experience can be gut-wrenching, liberating and supportive. You should check out their video on YouTube because I'm not sure I can put in to words what actually happens. Anything said would seem like an exaggeration, but when you see the video you understand. Take the time to watch this video, on their website: and go to the video excerpt from "Surviving High School."

Beth would like to see all of the greater Nashville area take advantage of this life-changing program. "We need to have a Be the Change Circle at each school made up of students, parents, and faculty," noted Beth. Circles of Change are groups of dedicated Challenge Day supporters who work together to promote and support local Be the Change School Teams. Circles of Change members are committed to living, funding, and supporting the principles of the Be the Change Movement. "It's about accepting people for who they are," says Beth. If you want to learn more, there is a meeting TOMORROW! Contact Beth Younginer immediately if you would like to attend at and here is the meeting info:

Greater Nashville Circle of Change
Thursday May 7, 2009
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fellowship Bible Church
1210 Franklin Rd.
Brentwood, TN
Learning Center Room 205
(building straight ahead on right when entering from Franklin Rd.)

Check them out on Facebook:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Kelly so much for helping us spread the word about the "Be the Change" movement in the greater Nashville area!

    We are looking for some specific volunteers with gifts in grant writing and computer/website design..knowledge. If anyone has this passion and would like to help our movement with it, they can contact me at the email address above.

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world"~ Ghandi

    Thanks again!
    Beth Younginer