SJHHS Embraces Diversity with DIRHA Program

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SJHHS Embraces Diversity with DIRHA Program

Photo courtesy of UCI

Photo courtesy of UCI

Photo courtesy of UCI

Riley Goodfellow, Co Editor-In-Chief

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SJHHS participates in the Diversity, Inclusion & Racial Healing High School Ambassador Program (DIRHA) in order to improve relationships on campus.

“We meet every few weeks and talk about race, diversity, and how its affected our lives as teenagers or our school,” said junior, Anthony Aguilar. The school has partnered with UCI to get involved in this program and that is where meetings are held.

Certain students along with Spanish and AVID teacher, Fernanda Villalba, take part in seminars, field trips, individual projects, and they also receive mentorship to promote a safe environment.

“I got involved through AVID… Mrs. Villalba chose students to go,” said Aguilar.

I have learned more ways to be respectful. [Participating] is a way to educate yourself and others about sensitive topics,”

— Anthony Aguilar

DIRHA’s vision is to build empathy, cultural competency, and leadership skills among the high school participants, so that they can lead efforts to pass on their knowledge to their peers.

“I have learned more ways to be respectful. [Participating] is a way to educate yourself and others about sensitive topics,” said Aguilar.

The program seeks to inspire human resilience within and beyond high school campuses by promoting a deeper understanding of diversity.

“I enjoy that we get to talk to other schools and people our age so we get to learn about different opinions. There are different ethnicities there, differentes religions there, so you get perspectives from different people,” said Aguilar.

SJHHS is very adamant about embracing diversity with other programs such as BRIDGES and events such as multicultural week which you can read more about here.  

“I recommend [DIRHA] because you learn a lot about important things that everyone should know,” said Aguilar.

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