Project Empathy Brings Students, Leaders Together

This past Friday, March 22, Project Empathy, with the support of Brevard Music Center, Mountain Roots, Transylvania County Schools and the city of Brevard, hosted 25 high school students from Brevard and Rosman high schools.

Maureen Copelof, city of Brevard council member and Project Empathy champion, said the primary purposes of the event were to, "allow students to meet with city council members and local community leaders while sharing lunch and to follow-up on previous student lead discussions on how to make Transylvania County a better place."

Students were treated to lunch by city council, heard from several community leaders, including Mark Weinstein with the Brevard Music Center and Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris. Kevin Smith, with Transylvania County Schools, shared how a few individuals can take an idea like creating a new skateboard park and turn that into a reality.

Following the lunch discussions with local leaders, Ali Lien, executive director of Mountain Roots, facilitated student-lead discussions on the greatest needs they would like to champion over the next year and, more importantly, "how to be the change agents."

Students identified three areas they want to focus on, including 1) reducing bullying in the schools, 2) increasing greater interaction between students and elected officials, and 3) reducing waste through composting, recycling and re-use.

Courtney Domokur, a current Transylvania County Schools board member, attended the event and expressed her appreciation for Project Empathy and the efforts by the community to engage students.

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