Hip-hop and art helps The Lion Heart Experience share the importance of self-worth with students

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Having a good relationship with yourself, could be even more important than the ones you have with others.

Because believing in your self worth, can help your mental health.

Those are the messages from the presentation called The Lion Heart Experience, which came to the Cloquet High School on Monday.

Founded by a former music teacher in Detroit, Joe Vercellino, the program also includes some of his former students. They use songs and art to share some important advice.

“So we use visual art and we use music and we use story to kind of wrap in this beautiful message that reconnects young people to a sense of worth,” he told us. “Kids need to be connected to a sense of worth and identity. That’s real, not just self esteem. We need kids to be able to understand that they have worth and that they have value and that it’s an inherent sense of worth and value. It’s not earned. It’s not achieved.”

For Jada Castilleja, a sophomore, it was a moving experience. “Today, I felt as if like I was in the moment and it hit me in the heart. The songs they sounded really great. And I feel pretty bright right now. It hurt, because it hit somewhere. But it’s also a step up. And it tells me to keep going.”

And the programming isn’t done yet.

“The teachers have curriculum that they’ll have to use with the students,” explained Amy Louhela, the grant coordinator for Positive Community Norms.

The public is invited to a free performance of The Lion Heart Experience on Tuesday, from 5-7pm, at the Carlton High School.

For more information: https://thelionheartexperience.com/