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Since Yvonne and Rich brought Challenge Day to Monroe High School, Assistant Principal Denise Lilly says student-teacher relationships have improved. "I believe that we now see each other for who we really are," she says. "It's changed us tremendously in our building."

Though Challenge Day only lasted one day, Denise says she remains committed to keeping the students connected throughout the year. "[I want] to be as pro-active as possible," she says. "[I want] to show the students that I believe it in my heart...to show them that no matter who you are, no matter what you've gone through, you are a person that needs love and needs caring."

Students, as well as administrators, have seen positive changes in the hallways of this Michigan high school. Steven, one of Monroe High’s gay students, says that since Challenge Day, classmates have stopped calling him "faggot" and some students even say "hi" when they pass by.

De'Lea, another gay student, says the experiences she had on Challenge Day have helped her open up. "I'm not so in my shell anymore. I can let people know what I'm feeling," she says. "I've made a lot of friends, and it's been a big change."
FROM: Oprah's High School Challenge
Published on November 09, 2006


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