Challenge Day Program

Our programs go beyond traditional anti-bullying efforts, building empathy and igniting a movement of compassion and positive change.

Challenge Day's mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential workshops and programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth and full expression.

Our 6 1/2-hour Challenge Day program is designed for 100 students. Our program is created to build connection and empathy, and to fulfill our vision that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated. Challenge Day is more than a one-day program. Our programs go beyond traditional anti-bullying efforts, building empathy and igniting a movement of compassion and positive change, known as the Be the Change movement.

Challenge Day is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides powerful one-day programs as a service to junior high schools, middle schools, and high schools with students in grades 7-12. Challenge Day also serves other organizations and companies.

Challenge Day Leader Vinny Hugging Student at Challenge Day Workshop leader Vinny Ferraro hugs a participant at Challenge Day. Photo Credits: Zach Cordner

Program Goals

Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues seen at most schools during our school programs including cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, homophobia, hopelessness, apathy, and hidden pressures to create an image, achieve or live up to the expectations of others. At the end of every Challenge Day program, all participants that fully participate will:

Never again be able to say they didn't know that negative judgments, thoughtless jokes, rumors, or oppressive behaviors, comments or violence hurts people.
Be challenged to adopt our three step formula for creating positive change:
  • NOTICE – Wake up! Notice what's happening.
  • CHOOSE – Dream It! Create a vision for what you DO want your life to look like.
  • ACT – Do Something! Have the courage and commitment it takes to be the change.
Be challenged to celebrate the diversity of ALL people.
Be encouraged to "drop the waterline" and to share and express their true selves (instead of hiding who they are to fit in at school or in their community)
Be provided with tools and alternatives for the healthy self expression while also being challenged to let go of self limiting thoughts, beliefs, and/or emotions.
Be challenged to live in a life in service to others.

Challenge Day programs are the catalyst for creating positive change in schools and communities. We believe each school can be an expert in knowing and understanding the needs of their students and for this reason, we ask schools and their communities to help sustain the changes made during the Challenge Day programs.

We require each school we work with to have a Be the Change Team and we provide tools and curricula for schools to sustain the momentum created by our programs. We believe every school can be a place where students and faculty feel safe, loved, and celebrated.

Challenge Day Photo Credits: David Brame / Dynamx Digital

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Evidence Based Research

Evidence based research has shown that Challenge Day helps develop leadership in high school students through its day-long Challenge Day programs. It also increases particular skills and life effectiveness listed in the categories below:

Intellectual Flexibility
Youth that demonstrate this attribute are open to new ideas, are adaptable and flexible in their thinking, and can change opinions easily if there is a better idea or way of doing activities and projects. They can also see and understand perspectives different than their own.

Task Leadership
Youth that demonstrate this attribute can successfully enroll people to participant in tasks, activities, and projects. Youth with this attribute believe that they can productively lead others in a positive and effective manner. Youth show an increase in leadership and action towards positive change.

Emotional Control
Youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they can stay calm in stressful situations and overcome anxiety quickly when things do go wrong and recover and resolve the problem efficiently.

Self Confidence
Youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they have the ability to do anything they put their mind to and they are confident they will succeed.

Social Competence
Youth that demonstrate this attribute have a high degree of self-perceived ability in social interactions. They have a high degree of confidence in their ability to positively relate with others.
High Five Challenge Day Photo Credits: David Brame / Dynamx Digital

At Challenge Day, we invite youth make at least one conscious, positive contribution (also known as an act of change) each day in their communities and schools. The acts of change youth most often did after a Challenge Day are as follows:

  • Helped peers and family
  • Connected and reached out to peers
  • Gave hugs and expressed love
  • Participated in community service
  • Resolved conflict
  • Took care of self

Challenge Day has served hundreds of thousands of youth around the world, helping schools create positive and permanent changes in how relationships and communities are built and sustained. We invite you to join us in the work of Challenge Day and to Be the Change!

Since 1987, we have served:

• Over 1 million teens
• 500,000 adults
• 9 countries: USA, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, and Uganda
• 48 states across USA
• 8 provinces across Canada

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Submit Feedback

Have you participated in a Challenge Day Program or a Community Workshop (Being the Change, Living the Change, Next Step)? Tell us about your experience. We would love to hear from you!

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