GWAM Retreat, 2019

This years GWAM retreat provided everyone involved with a sense of acceptance and belonging.

The+incoming+freshmen+had+a+truly+%27GWAMazing%27+experience+at+the+2019+GWAM+retreat.+
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GWAM Retreat, 2019

The incoming freshmen had a truly 'GWAMazing' experience at the 2019 GWAM retreat.

The incoming freshmen had a truly 'GWAMazing' experience at the 2019 GWAM retreat.

My amazing co-leader, Isabella Blancho

The incoming freshmen had a truly 'GWAMazing' experience at the 2019 GWAM retreat.

My amazing co-leader, Isabella Blancho

My amazing co-leader, Isabella Blancho

The incoming freshmen had a truly 'GWAMazing' experience at the 2019 GWAM retreat.

Jackie Bond, Staff Writer

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This year I am honored to be a member of the Los Alamitos GWAM leadership team for the 2019 school year. GWAM, or Griffins With a Mission, is one of the many Los Alamitos clubs based on understanding and acceptance among high school students. This week, on October 2nd and 3rd, GWAM leaders participated in an annual field trip to Weaver Elementary School with the incoming freshman class.
During this GWAM retreat, Sophomore, Junior and Senior students are assigned a group of freshmen students who they offer advice and share their high school experiences with. Leaders then guide their groups in a series of fun activities which reveal students’ perspectives and true identities to their peers. This helps freshmen to relate to one another and make new, long-lasting friendships. As a leader, I was able to guide my group in interactive games, thought-provoking videos, and bonding exercises which enabled each of us to grow closer to one another by the end of the day. On my first day, October 2nd, I had a group of 14 incredible students who were able to share their experiences and easily open up to one another. Similarly, on my second day as a leader, October 3rd, I was endowed with another inspiring group consisting of thirteen outgoing, enthusiastic students who excitedly participated in every activity and willingly revealed their perspectives for their fellow classmates to hear.
GWAM provides students with the opportunity to not only connect with their fellow freshmen, but also bond with some upperclassmen who can help students’ navigate the stressful, laborious times that make up high school. I personally formed a connection with each and every one of my group members, and I loved helping my fellow griffins to feel more accepted and welcomed into Los Alamitos. As friendships formed throughout the day, incoming students became more and more hopeful for a successful transition into high school. It was an overall extraordinary experience, and I am truly blessed to have been a part of it.