What is Connections?

How can we make our community a better place?

Gillian McDonald, Staff Writer

‘Connections’ is a program made up of tenth through twelfth students and staff members. Consisting of nine staff advisers and forty-four students, Connections is a program that provides a safe outlet for students who are looking to learn, make friends/connections, and those who are looking for a safe place to feel like they belong. 

Connections, being mostly student-based, is a safe space made to discuss issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, bias, and much more. When asked, “What does Connections mean to you?” member Jackson Hersom replied: I think that Connections means a lot to a lot of people…kids in Sutton kind of feel alienated because everyone else around them literally doesn’t look like them. They might not be treated the same way, and they might be pushed aside. This program is an outlet for students who want to make this world more inclusive, but Connections is also a safe space to discuss their struggles. 

Outlet, “a medium of expression or publication,” is cited from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, also commonly used to describe Connections. Likewise, Jackson also uses the word outlet while describing how Connections is helpful. “Connections gives them that sort of outlet to speak about and educate other people about the own thing that they face mostly because the people who don’t face those certain problems and those certain challenges, they don’t even think about it.” 

Acceptance and understanding are vast parts of the Connections program. In order to create a safe environment to talk about complex or vulnerable things, the Connections program allows students to make mistakes and then learn from them. This method, in turn, is beneficial to learn from that mistake, and others can help and educate. When asked, “Why do you think Connections is important, and how does this program help others?” Jackson Hersom answered: “The most important thing to kind of know is that if prejudice can be learned, then it can be unlearned, so that’s what I think it’s done for me.” Connections is a safe space and a safe learning environment where people can learn from everyone. 

The purpose of the Connections program is to make our community a more inclusive and safer place for everyone. This program ensures that people feel heard and can make a difference in someone’s life. Connection’s goal towards the community is to create a safe space to talk about difficult things and educate others about being respectful, understanding, and kind.