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The Real High School Orientation - for those who identify as young men

Sex and Consent      Drugs   ⧫   Bullies      Privilege and Racism

This three-session program is for those who identify as young men and who are entering or just completing 9th grade.  

We’ll discuss important issues in a way that the schools don’t address— truthfully, with real-life answers and ways to face these fears and find the courage to make healthy decisions while still having a reputation that doesn’t label them as weak or cause them to be passively rejected.

Together we’ll cover:

Sex and Consent

The pressure to be sexually active, abusive, and predatorial is huge in high schools.  This underground but acceptable behavior is not easy to bypass for young men.  We will discuss ways to:

  • Not participate in the jokes.
  • Speak up to inappropriate speech and behavior in a way that does not make you seem different, unsexual, or self-righteous.
  • Know what consent really is and listen to your partner.
  • Listen to your own body and not be pulled by something that does not feel right for you.

Drugs

Drugs are a natural part of high school.  Teens will always find ways to get high.  We believe alcohol and drugs should not be ingested until your body is fully grown but also realize the majority of teens (especially boys) will try or practice some form of self-medication.  So, we will share both abstinence and wisdom:

  • Cause, effects, and consequences of every action.
  • The many types of drugs and the effects they have on you.
  • How to say no and keep friendships, reputations, and self-worth.

Bullies

There was a big push (which still exists) to stop bullying in schools.  The truth is bullying did not ever stop; bullies just learned how to bully better while in-person, and with blasted coding online.  Through all this, no one taught our teens the important skills of how to face, manage, and cope with bullies.  Not having this skill in life is dangerous and keeps people in victim mode.  Here are the skills we will share:

  • How to remain authentic and not be targeted.
  • What to say and do when a bully tests the waters to see if you are a victim.
  • What to do if you get blasted online.
  • How to be independent and still connected to friends and the collective.
  • Physical techniques to stop bullying.
  • Talking to someone about bullying.
  • Making a plan that will not cause you to be targeted, shamed, ridiculed, or isolated.

Privilege and Racism

These topics have been labeled taboo over the past year but still impact young men’s relationships and interactions in high school.

Each school has its unwritten and non-verbal relationship to privilege, disadvantage, and racism.  If a freshman does not know how to navigate and decode these rules, or the rules are not aligned with their personal values, this can affect their success and well being for the remainder of their time in high school.

We will discuss:

  • Recognizing your privilege and not using it at anyone’s expense.
  • Recognizing and managing your own biases and affinities.
  • Conversation about the effects racism has on everyone.
  • How to listen, ask questions, and share challenging conversations in a way that connects to people.

Workshop Leaders: André Salvage and Dorian Wiederholt Kassar

From André:

Years ago, I asked each of my children what information they needed to enter and manage high school.  Their answers were all consistent—Sex, Drugs, Reputation, and Bullies.  Now that I have grandchildren, I ask them the same questions, and the answers are the exact same—How do I deal with the pressures of sex, drugs, fitting in, and the people who try to manipulate, make fun of, or bully me?  Learn more about André here.

From Dorian:

If I had received this program before I started high school, I would have avoided a panic attack on the first day of orientation.  I regularly work in high schools, but there are limitations for what I can address.  With care and sensitivity, André and I will share what students really need to know before starting high school so they can avoid becoming overwhelmed and resorting to unhealthy methods to numb out and self-medicate.  Learn more about Dorian here.

2021 program testimonial:

Conor thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you and was very inspired…He described it as “powerful, mind-breaking and life-changing.” Before today, Conor had a lot of anxiety about starting high school and now he’s excited. Thank you so much!

Spring session concludes June 4.

Next Session will be August 2022. 

Contact us at team@andresalvage.com to be notified when enrollment opens.  

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