Self-love is a fundamental skill that can make a world of difference in one’s life, and learning how to develop it from an early age is crucial. At Brooklyn’s Excellence Boys Charter School, students are being taught the importance of self-affirmation and self-love on a daily basis.
Performing Arts teacher Ivan Marrero came up with the idea to have the boys try saying an affirmation to themselves in the mirror, starting with the phrase “One thing I like about myself is…” and allowing them to say anything that made them happy.
Each student took turns praising their reflection, commending their eyes, smile, strength, ability to climb, and anything else that they found to be positive about themselves. Marrero posted a video of this exercise online, and it quickly went viral, garnering widespread attention and admiration.
The heartwarming video showcased the humility and vulnerability of the black and brown boys at Excellence Boys in a way that is not often seen in the media. Principle Jaz Grant spoke about the importance of instilling self-worth and confidence in young black and brown boys from an early age, stating that “it is so important that our young black and brown boys know ‘you’re worthy, you are special, you are talented'” so that they are prepared to face the world with confidence and resilience.
In addition to self-affirmation exercises, the school’s confidence-boosting curriculum includes morning motivation sessions where faculty members hype up the boys before the start of the day. The classrooms are also named after colleges and universities, with the aim of embedding the idea that higher education is a possibility for all students, regardless of their race or background.
The educators at Excellence Boys are fighting to create a brighter future for every child by emphasizing not only academic knowledge but also emotional resiliency and self-love. If every child had the opportunity to learn healthy self-talk and experience pure joy in their education, we would live in a world full of confident and resilient individuals.