AP Psychology students attend inspirational Kevin Pearce presentation

unnamedBy Shreya Thakkar
Executive Features Editor
65 Prospect AP Psychology students walked into the Buffalo Grove’s theater all wearing Prospect gear ready to hear former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce talk about his snowboarding traumatic brain injury October 23, 2014.
The event was organized by Buffalo Grove’s AP Psychology teacher who contacted Pearce’s Love Your Brain campaign and coordinated for him to speak to AP Psychology students at Buffalo Grove. Pearce’s campaign focuses on “improving lives through a mindful approach on brain injury prevention, rehabilitation, and brain health.”
The Buffalo Grove psychology teachers then sent out an email to all psychology teachers in the district inviting them and their students to the event. Prospect AP Psychology teachers Daria Schaffeld and Jay Heilman then asked their students if they would be interested and found that 65 students were.
“They were all like ‘Absolutely we want to go; it sounds amazing,’” Schaffeld said. “65 is a great number; it’s almost half of our [AP Psychology] population.”
Students met outside the Buffalo Grove theater at 5:30 p.m. wearing Prospect gear and sat together. The program started at 6 p.m. with a one hour and 45 minute movie called Crash Reel, at 8 p.m. there was a 40 minute question and answer session with Pearce.
Schaffeld and junior Julia Mozdzen were proud of the unity Prospect students showed.
“I refer to us as the AP Psych family,” Schaffeld said. “[We wore Prospect gear because] we don’t have our [AP Psych] T shirts yet, so I thought it was a nice show of unity. Plus, I liked that we all sat together.”
“[Even though] we were at a different school, we were still showing out school and our unity, so it was really cool,” Mozdzen said.
According to Mozdzen, the event was very inspirational.
“It’s so inspirational because he went through such a traumatic experience and had to give up all of his dreams of going to the winter Olympics, but he still has such a positive attitude,” Mozdzen said. “He now started a foundation to help others which is really inspirational. When I went to the presentation, I really didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t think it was going to be as powerful as it was but it [ended up being] really inspirational.”
Overall, Schaffeld feels the event was worthwhile.
“I was unsure [of how the event would be] going into it, I thought it would be fine, and good,” Schaffeld said. “[but] we were all blown away last night. If you ask any of the 65 kids that went, the statement I heard all day today was that it surpassed their expectations, so that’s really cool. They were there from 5:30 p.m. until after 9 p.m. and that’s a big chunk of somebody’s life, but they all said it was worth every minute.”