Dutch Documentary Series:  Over De Streep



Here are just a sample of the powerful, life-changing effects that Challenge Day has had on students, faculty, and adults alike.

"The Putnam City Public Schools Foundation makes it possible for all three Putnam City high schools to hold Challenge Day for students every year. The cost is about $60,000, said Caroline Gist, foundation director. Gist said it's worth every penny to see the change in students."
–Caroline Gist, Director, Putnam City Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK
"Your program brought my daughter back. I thought I had lost her forever!"
–Helene, Parent, Benicia, CA
"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time show us how miracles are made. [Challenge Day] was the best day of my life."
–Shannon Russell, Student, Winthrop, WA
"Students are using the strategies they learned in Challenge Day. I know of three separate cases where students avoided a fight using strategies learned during Challenge Day. One boy actually referred to Challenge Day as he made an apology to another student."
–Patrick Wnek, Assistant Principal, Newberry HS, Alachua County, FL
"Simply extraordinary! Everyone should experience your program."
–Peter Yarrow, Activist/Musician (Peter, Paul and Mary)
"It changed my life, and I wanted to say thank you for giving me a new perspective on how I treated people. Thank you for helping me on my way to happiness."
–Lindsey Boes, Student, Harrison High School, PA
"I'd love to bring your Challenge Day program to my colleagues in Congress."
–Barbara Cubin, US House of Representatives
"Challenge Day truly helped to make our classroom a safe, secure environment for each and every student. We became our own 'family,' accepting each other for who we were. Challenge day is a fabulous tool for teachers and promotes individual growth for all who experience it!"
–Janine Deiling, 8th grade teacher, Mendenhall Middle School, Livermore, CA
"From Challenge Day, I felt others embracing me and showing me, and telling me, that I was an important person and that the school really did need me. For the first time in high school, I felt like I mattered, I felt like people cared about me, and that was the best feeling in the world."
–Jessie Carlson, Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, WA
"This program is desperately needed in every school across the country. The impact that it made on me and the students I saw here will not be forgotten. Thank you."
–R. Giuliano, Addictions Therapist, MI
"I was fortunate enough to be one of the adult participants at the Challenge Day today. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I've had. Watching the kids 'get' each other and their feelings was magical. I also learned a lot about myself. I so wish your organization existed when I was a kid. It would have spared me so much self doubt and pain in that already awkward time. I hope when my sixth and third grade daughters reach eighth grade, they'll be able to experience a Challenge Day, and that I'm there experiencing it with them."
–Ella Painter, Tierra Linda Middle School
"I appreciate what you were able to do for all of us at Challenge Day last week. The very next morning, a student of mine came in and voiced her admiration of me, following it with a big hug. I have seen other signs of that kind of openness; if we can even maintain a fraction of the progress I saw in the actual experience, we will have a better school."
–Kathy Nimmer, Teacher, Harrison High, West Lafayette, IN
"My life is absolutely a success story that began with a lot of love from two sources: first, my parents; and second, my exposure to Challenge Day in 1987."
–Brandon T. Barrett, Adult Volunteer
"Simply put, I think the Challenge Day programs are one of the greatest forces for positive change in the world today and I would like to help the organization achieve its mission however I can."
–Gabriel Lopez-Betanzos, Former Challenge Day Participant, Cambridge, MA
"Having the opportunity as a volunteer to create myself powerfully and to propel Challenge Day forward in its mission is one of the most exhilarating and gratifying gifts I have ever received."
–Jim Holley, Volunteer Coordinator
"I am buying into [Challenge Day] for purely selfish reasons. I don't have to close the door at the end of the day and cry anymore because I've had 50 kids in my office who can't get along with their peers and their parents because nobody's ever taught them to effectively communicate. When you see something that works, you really don't want to lose it. And Challenge Day does work."
–Jacquelene Polke, Dean of Students, Lincoln Middle School, Gainesville, FL
If ever you've saved a life,
You saved my life today.
Never have I opened up
To any arms held out,
And never have I broken down
The wall I worked so hard to build.
If you really knew me, you would know
That what you did today
Means more than I can show.
It was more than I have prayed for,
More than I have hoped for,
And more than enough to keep me here.
And if you really knew me, you would know
That I am so thankful that you care,
Because you changed my life today.
–Male student, 9th grade

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