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Placer program builds empathy

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I was heartened to learn about Placer High School bringing the Breaking Down the Walls program to students (Journal, Feb. 3). It is essential for the student community to live in awareness and compassion if harmony is to exist. There is considerable pressure to successfully compete during the high school years academically and in athletics. Social acceptance is also an area of competition but it is more difficult to attain due to a lack of guidelines and marks of achievement. An individual’s social life may also be highly impacted by circumstances such as those arising from abuse, drug use, crime, family strife, or death of a loved one. Programs such as Breaking Down the Walls help the students to see the threads of connection amongst themselves, that they are not as different as previously conceived and there are others who share their challenges. These interpersonal connections will bring happiness, strengthen the bonds within the student body and improve the campus culture. Moreover, these students are on the cusp of adulthood and what a better world it could be if they take their place in it with open hearts and a sense of belonging. Robyn Woodall, Auburn