By Ellie DelGuercio ’18 and Nikki Goldstone ’18
At the beginning of the school year, three juniors brought One Love to Roland Park. Unlike most clubs which start out small, ninety students signed up immediately following the club fair in September. Presidents Ellie Del Guercio ‘18, Sierra Cockerille ‘18, and Nikki Goldstone ‘18 were pleased to have such a turnout after working since the 2015-1016 school year to plan the program. Just days after taking the club photo on the gym floor, the RPCS One Love Club was contacted by the One Love Foundation. Their immediate recognition affirmed for RPCS that although this was the club’s first year, it would certainly not be the last.
The One Love Foundation, established in memory of Yeardley Love; a former NDP and UVA student and victim of relationship violence, aims to educate young people across the country about abusive relationships and their warning signs. The goal of the Roland Park created One Love Club is to spread awareness within our own community, creating a safe and trustworthy environment for high school students. Roland Park’s club works closely with Boys’ Latin and Notre Dame Prep to create events and fundraisers for the One Love Foundation as well as working with the Baltimore House of Ruth, another organization dedicated to helping women and children in dangerous situations.
Boys’ Latin, another private school, is one of the few all-boys schools to have a One Love club. One of the club’s members, Josh Blibaum, stressed the importance of having a club that promotes healthy relationships in an all-male environment. Josh said,
“I really enjoy educating people around the BL community. We work closely with the One Love Foundation and it’s been a very rewarding experience. The issue of relationship violence affects people of every race, gender, and sexual orientation. I think that all-boys schools should have a One Love club so that all students and teachers become more aware of the dangers and signs of relationship violence and can be proactive about stopping it”
Hopefully BL’s example will spread to other all-boys schools, promoting not only healthy relationships, but also helping to identify unhealthy relationships..
This fall, RPCS held the Escalation workshop for 11th and 12th graders, in which they discussed signs of relationship violence and prevention strategies. The 9th and 10th graders participated in a similar workshop, focused on healthy versus unhealthy relationships and how to identify each. After the Escalation workshops, the club worked to hold several fundraisers; in addition, the presidents and faculty sponsors hope to hold more events this spring.
Recently, the One Love representatives from RPCS met with the BL club presidents to plan a dedication game to take place this spring. The dedication game took place on Thursday, April 6th when RPCS plays NDP on our home turf. In addition, NDP is hosting a field day to support One Love. It is a collaborative effort involving all of the schools that have One Love clubs. The event will include music, food, games and activities and will take place on Sunday, May 7th. Additionally, the Saint Paul’s Schools will be hosting a Spring Fest lacrosse tournament on April 8th that will include games of many local teams, as well as teams from up and down the east coast.
There are definitely big things in store for the One Love community in Baltimore. With the development of more school clubs and the involvement of communities like ours, One Love will continue to educate people on how to maintain and foster healthy relationships.