Creating a Space for Joy

Creating a Space for Joy
Dani Seiss

Students often create their own, unique celebrations at GDS, and Juice Box Day is a prime example. Originating last year with then-senior Andrew Mikhail ’23, the day is now organized by one of GDS’s many Community Leadership Corps (CLCs) groups. CLCs are made up of juniors and seniors who volunteer their time at various high-school and school-wide events under the guidance of High School Science Teacher and Director of Student Community Programming, Bobby Asher.

The day functions as an opportunity for busy students and faculty to take a short break from their routines and a chance to step away briefly from the heavy concentration often required of study and other scholarly pursuits to just relax and recharge.

According to Bobby, Juice Box Day, or simply JBD as it has become known, is a celebration of pure joy and the nostalgia of being young and carefree; a throwback to a time when life seemed simpler. But that doesn’t mean it is simple in the planning.

“There are many CLC's, around 40 or more I would say,” explained Elena LaGuardia White ’25, one of the day's organizers, “meaning it is often difficult finding a time when we are all available. In fact, it was really only about ten of us who came to the first meeting about two weeks prior. Bobby had already proposed several ideas, including the traditional petting zoo and a possible May-day celebration. Beyond that, we had also come up with some ideas ourselves, like a water balloon fight or certain creative performances.”

But the Spring season at GDS is jam-packed with academic, athletic, and creative demands, along with so many special events and activities. Time was a consideration, and many of the ideas for the day required more than they had. 

The organizers settled on a few key activities, including those that give credence to the day’s name. They gave out an immense number of juice boxes to high school students during carpool and LMS students the day before, and hid five “golden juice boxes" with prizes around the high school (being mindful to keep outside of classrooms and department offices). These contained donated gift cards from enthusiastically participating local businesses, including Pete's Pizza and GDS alumni-owned Call Your Mother Deli. 

They began the day with music, bubbles, donuts, and costumes, and headed into the afternoon with a visit from Stone Eagle Stables petting zoo—an event that is quickly becoming a traditional feature of JBD. Organizers then extended an invitation to staff and faculty to join in the juice box hunt and to all the students, faculty, and staff at GDS to enjoy the petting zoo; fun times and nostalgia for all! 

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Creating a Space for Joy