About Warrior Within www.warriorwithin.ca
Warrior Within is a creative endeavour spearheaded by Catherine Wachter, a middle and high school guidance counsellor and Nicola Doyle, a television producer. The project centred around the creation of a professional, fictional short film that uses metaphor and imagery to help engage students in their understanding of stress, anxiety and how to individually develop their own resilience.
This creative project also involved the student exploration of the film's themes - stress, personal resilience and the power of social capital - through artwork, music composition, documentary film, creative writing, dance, blog writing and photography created alongside the shoot and under the guidance of mentors in the field.
After the shoot, students from three schools came together to develop curriculum on mental health and illness. The result of the team's efforts is a dynamic five lesson program (with a suggested sixth lesson) inspired by the film's themes of stress and resilience. The curriculum uses a multimedia approach to engage high school students in topics ranging from mental health disorders, through coping and healing, to sociocultural factors affecting well-being.
At its core, Warrior Within taps into the youth voice and the power of art to bring the essential story of emotional experience to diverse audiences. The curriculum component of the project leverages the synergy between the two (youth + art) to bring an imaginative, peer-driven educational experience into the classroom.
The eight students who committed to this curriculum building project over the span of 5 months are: Contributors: Laura Ing, Sara Naqvi, Pascale Mettrick, Julia Kneis, Daniela Melis , Jonah Davids. Lead Developers: Deanna Kim, Mia Sanders (also Website Developer).
Check out the videos below to hear why students believe this project is so impactful!