Webb Students Explore Fears, Serve Fearlessly
Webb students explored their innermost fears during a day of discussion and served the community fearlessly during a day of service as part of the school’s 2023 Dies Mulieres/Men in the Arena program.
Dies Mulieres is Latin for Day of the Women. Men in the Arena is a term that dates to a 1910 Theodore Roosevelt speech about the importance of striving despite the risk of failure. The two-day, biennial symposium is sometimes held as separate events for Vivian Webb School and Webb School of California and sometimes as a joint activity, as was the case this year.
“This year, the goal of the symposium was to provide students with an opportunity for self-discovery, to engage in thinking about what holds them back from bringing their ‘true colors’ to everyday situations and experiences,” VWS Dean of Students Sarah Lantz said.
About 400 students came together on Feb. 13 to hear speaker Darryl Bellamy Jr. guide them in confronting their fears. As part of the exercise, students wrote their fears on cards and shared them aloud; Bellamy, in turn, showed them that many of their fears are shared by students across the globe.
Bellamy urged Webb students to have more fearless moments, acting despite their fears. Students discussed and reflected on his message during small groups throughout the day and quizzed Bellamy on his ideas during a closing session.
“It can be scary to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone,” said Isamar Theobald, a Webb sophomore. “I liked Mr. Bellamy’s five-second rule – where he said we should take action within five seconds and not wait so long that our fear stops us.”
On Feb. 14, Webb students headed to Ontario, Chino, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Huntington Beach for service projects. Students weeded, fed animals and cleaned fruit at community farms, spruced up trails and youth centers, read to children at a local school, picked up litter on beaches and organized goods for people who are homeless.
Nicole Lee, a sophomore, painted canvasses at the Claremont Youth Activity Center to beautify Claremont High School. Other students picked up trash, built furniture and painted walls at the activity center.
Theobald and Yilia Han, a freshman, picked up trash at Huntington Beach. Ken Sirimontaporn, a senior, prepared meals at Isaiah’s Rock in Chino for families in need.
Pui Fong, a junior, pulled weeds at Amy’s Farm in Ontario, an organization that helps supply food pantries with organic fruits and vegetables.
“It’s important to go give back to the community,” Fong said.
Amy Wang, a junior, helped at Huerta del Valle, an urban community farm in Ontario.
“It’s a great experience,” Wang said. “Acknowledging our privilege is really important. We have a lot. This is a chance for us to see the real world and give back.”
At Webb, groups of students made hygiene kits and wrote Valentine’s Day cards for seniors. Members of a campus club made soap to be shared with local families.