The Seven Project comes to WorthingtonWORTHINGTON — The Seven Project, a multimedia-based school assembly group, visited eight area schools this week, and will cap things off with a 7 p.m. performance tonight at the Memorial Auditorium in Worthington.
WORTHINGTON — The Seven Project, a multimedia-based school assembly group, visited eight area schools this week, and will cap things off with a 7 p.m. performance tonight at the Memorial Auditorium in Worthington.
The group teaches tailored messages for each school. Topics tackled include bullying, peer pressure and following dreams.
The Worthington Regional Health Care foundation covered $8,100 of the total $9,800 cost for four days, said John Nau, an associate pastor at the Solid Rock Assembly church in Worthington. The remaining cost was covered by private donors.
“It’s expensive,” Nau said. “But, if there’s one kid who’s changed, encouraged or decides not to take their life, then it’s worth it.”
Nau contacted the schools to set up the assemblies, which are provided at no charge to the schools.
“I knew some people that have talked about them, and the word gets around when something’s done right and done well,” Nau said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you see one kid who is encouraged.”
The eight-member group includes a live band and multiple speakers.
“My favorite part is when the assembly begins,” Nau said. “You have hundreds of kids filtering in excited. They’re happy, not just to be out of class, but to know something great is about to happen.”
Terrence Talley, a speaker with the group, said the assemblies start out with the band playing a high energy, familiar song to students. Then, they tell interactive stories and show videos to elaborate on the issues.
“We close with the thought that we believe in them, they can make it and are worth something,” Talley said.
Omar Pintor, a freshman at Round Lake High School, attended the assembly Wednesday afternoon and said it was energetic and his peers enjoyed it.
“They tell you to be yourself and make the right choices,” Pintor said.
“It’s important to me be-cause I’ve seen too many people knock down others and cut down their dreams and ideas,” Nau said. “There’s a lot in this world that can change if people let others become who they are meant to be.”
While it’s a Christian-based group, Nau said religion is not broached in the school programs.
“We’re not allowed to talk about faith, which I understand because not everyone is Christian, and I respect that,” Nau said. “We do give them an opportunity to find out more about the reason why we do what we do.”
“Even though we’re not able to talk about God, we all have dreams,” Nau said. “Whether we believe in God or not, everyone can use encouragement.”
Talley said he talks about a variety of topics, including bullying, hopes and dreams.
“I think anyone is qualified to speak about the pain and hurt they have gotten past,” Talley said. “I’ve had my fair share, but I’ve been able to see beyond that and move on.”
“Bullying is a big issue, especially with Facebook and Twitter,” Nau said. “It needs to be hit on all the time to let people know that’s not right.”
“I tell real stories, and I’m open and honest,” Talley said. “I got made fun of and picked on, but I used that to do something positive.”
Everyone has unique gifts and abilities, Nau said.
“People may try to knock them down, but we want to encourage them to develop into the people they were created to be,” he said.
Talley said his favorite part of the week was Tuesday’s assembly at Worthington Middle School.
“The kids were so fun and had so much energy early in morning,” Talley said. “I truly believe that every school should have this positive message of hope.”
Pintor said the main message he learned was to be himself, and to make decisions now that will benefit his future.
“An hour for one student could change their life forever,” Talley said. “It’s about planting seeds of hope.”
Daily Globe Reporter Kayla Strayer may be reached at 376-7322.