Challenge Day (Be The Change)

Challenge Day is program held once a year at Coral Shores High School.  Two highly trained leaders from the San Francisco Bay Area come to the school and hold a 6 hour workshop for 100 students from grades 7 through 12. 25 adult volunteers, including parents, teachers and staff, join them.

The goal of the program is to build empathy and connection between students, volunteers and leaders. The vision is to promote a world where the student can feel loved, safe and celebrated. This is accomplished by having the students run through exercises designed to challenge each student to push their own psychic and emotional boundaries. An example of an exercise—once trust is established between the participants—is for a student to stand up and say, “if you really knew me…” and then they reveal something about themselves.

A worldwide movement called “Be The Change” is a big part of Challenge Day; students join because they want to be the change they want to see in the world, echoing the famous quote from Gandhi.

A number of volunteers from Keys to Peace were at Challenge Day in 2014. See the Challenge Day website here:

Challenge Day 2014


Caring Adults wanted as volunteers for Challenge Days Keys-wide March 10, 11 & 12

 Challenge Day 2013 triptych

Some volunteer opportunities require great self-sacrifice. This one leaves the volunteer often wanting more. Challenge Day, coming to the Keys March 10- 12, is like no other program. In one fun-filled day adults facilitate safe games and affirm students in small groups. By open dialogue, thought-provoking activities and time set aside for students to make amends and personal commitments, Challenge Days help reduce school violence, racism, cliques, bullying and encourage pro-social behavior.

For 14 years, Be the Change has brought Challenge Day leaders to Monroe County. This year the program is to be hosted at Key West High School Monday, March 10; Marathon High School Tuesday, March 11; and Coral Shores High School Wednesday, March 12.

Cassidy Camp, crowned Miss Coral Shores in 2013, attended last year’s Challenge Day and says, “All walls and defensiveness in the room are dropped in a way that’s positively liberating and absolutely life changing. Being involved in Challenge Day is an amazing honor that will no doubt leave a lasting imprint on your heart and your life.”
Each school enlists about 25 adult volunteers with clear background checks to accomplish the structure and communication goals set for each venue. Key West Volunteer Mike Mongo said, “I personally believe Challenge Day is the most successful engagement we have with Monroe County students for the quelling of bullying and fostering diversity. Volunteering for this day was a gift.”

Key West High School Challenge Day –  Monday, March 10 Key West High School Auditorium 7:15 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.  To volunteer, contact Heidi Golightly at 541-974-4398 or

Marathon Challenge Day – Tuesday, March 11 at the Marathon High School Auditorium from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Please RSVP to Katrina Wiatt via email at

Coral Shores High School Challenge Day – Wednesday, March 12 at Coral Shores High School Performing Arts Center (PAC) 7:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Please RSVP with Nancy Lucas at 305-393-6413 or

Be the Change provides this opportunity for caring, responsible adults to support each Challenge Day event in the Keys. To volunteer contact an area coordinator listed above with “Challenge Day” in the subject line. All volunteers must be registered through the Monroe County School District which the coordinator can guide volunteers through.

Be the Change of the Florida Keys, Inc is a grassroots non-profit organization. Our vision is a community where each child in Monroe County has the resources, skills and motivation to survive and thrive in school and in life. For more information about Be the Change of the Florida Keys, Inc. contact BtC Vice President Katrina Wiatt 305-393-3164 or visit or the Be the Change Facebook page.

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Challenge Day 2013

Challenge Day volunteers and leaders at Key West High School last year were (left to right), Nikolas Morato of Cruz Morato CPA,  Challenge Day Leader “Miggs,” Brian Wise of USCG Command Sector, Challenge Day Leader Sean Flikke, community advocate Mike Mongo, Marie Ohayon,  and Marlianne Hudson of USCG Command Sector.
2013 Challenge Day Volunteers & Sta[[
2013 Challenge Day Volunteers & Staff

RSVP Your Volunteer Seat today!

Challenge Day Logo

For more information about Be the Change, Kids Come First or any of our programs, please direct your communication to one of our board members or staff listed here:
Board of Directors 
President Mark Todaro
Vice President Katrina Wiatt
Lower Keys Prevention Coordinator Heidi Golightly
Upper Keys Prevention & Playgroup Coordinator Nancy Lucas
Kids Come First Coordinator Roxane Posada

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Challenge Day 2013

This past year, on January 17, 2013 at Coral Shores High School, 7:45 AM – 2:30 PM, Challenge Day was held at Coral Shores High School.

Volunteers from Keys to Peace as well as many other organizations joined students for a day that most will not forget.

It was a day full of exercises and experiences designed to build connection and empathy, to test everybody, to reach even the shyest soul as we asked important questions of ourselves and each other, as we delved into the darkest depths, and truly connected—all of us: the staff, the volunteers, the students and the teachers.

Here is the national website:
Below are photos from that exciting day: