Scheel students have opportunities to learn about things that they normally would never be exposed to. By choosing to expand their horizons with these extracurricular courses, students gain critical thinking skills, build self-confidence and realize that education doesn’t just happen during the school day.
One example is our Integral Philosophy Program, taught by volunteers Mick and Deb. The philosophy course teaches young people how to think, not what to think. Students also learn mediation skills, to help them confront the harsh realities of life in a violent, extremely poor neighborhood.
Below are comments from the students’ final exams (translated from Spanish), in which 11 of the 12 students indicated that they wanted to keep taking the course in the evenings after they graduated.
“If one does not reason well, one cannot expand one’s way of living. If one does not think, one cannot act with intelligence. I feel sad when I wake up and come back to the everyday hard state. What is sadness? Why do we lose our drive when we are sad? I never dreamed big before.”
“This course helps me to think in a different way than I, sadly, knew. It is like seeing a different world from different eyes.”
“When I arrive home, even though I don’t understand the class, I think about ideas that maybe can help me to go beyond all that I have thought before. I think about those who lived before Jesus, yet I come back to close myself in the same circle again. Why?”
“Meditation helps me get out of things that inhabit my mind. In mediation, I realize that there are more beliefs than we know and more to consider that never even crossed our minds. Meditation releases all the bad vibrations of the body and helps me think clearly.”
“Meditation is as if I am witnessing everything that is going on around me. Meditation is like wandering in nothingness, like your soul wasn’t here, like being in flight, like I have never been discovered, like I have found inner peace. All my soul was at peace and I keep doing it to wander in my mind and to go without direction in my own world.”