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Student Reflection on Darryl Bellamy - Guest Speaker on Belonging

In April, Upper School students and faculty had the opportunity to hear from author and nationally-acclaimed speaker, Darryl Bellamy. Below is a reflection of the event by Pete Pignetti '23

"Darryl Bellamy was a great speaker and I speak for the whole student body when I say we all benefited from what he had to say. He walked into the gym and everyone immediately fell in love with his energy and charismatic spirit. In just five minutes, we all trusted him enough to write our fears (starting with I fear that…) on a notecard and give them to him. He then anonymously read some of our fears to the student body. Some were funny and some were personal, but everyone could relate to them in some way or another. My personal favorite fear was "I fear that people with peanut allergies will take over the world and ban peanut butter."

Some students' fears also dealt with pressure from grades, workload, and college stress. This activity reminded us that no matter how afraid we are of failure or how anxious we are, we are never alone. Obviously, at a school as rigorous as Country Day, it’s easy to feel under pressure and it’s easy to forget that most of the time, everyone else is going through the same struggle.

Later, we dove into a circle of treatment and how sometimes we are mean to people to whom we can’t relate. He then gave us tips on how to “be better” (not perfect) at being kind to others. 

Darryl Bellamy Upper School Assembly

Later, some of the student leaders were selected to go to a lunch meeting with him to further dive into student fears. He prepared a whole PowerPoint for us but due to tech issues, we ended up talking the whole time. I personally enjoyed this even more than the original plan because we got to talk about things we cared about in a safe and comfortable environment. Some topics we discussed were the first steps to helping someone with their self-doubts, the difference between listening to someone’s insecurities and fixing someone’s insecurities, and we even discussed some of his own fears and struggles throughout his life and his career. Overall, Darryl is a great guy who really cared about our well-being as individuals and a community."