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STUDENTS: Bonding with one another

Being+cut+off+from+society%2C+the+group+of+students+had+to+quickly+learn+how+to+work+together+to+complete+team-building+activities.+The+two+days+spent+together+helped+them+open+up+together.+
Being cut off from society, the group of students had to quickly learn how to work together to complete team-building activities. The two days spent together helped them open up together.

Being cut off from society, the group of students had to quickly learn how to work together to complete team-building activities. The two days spent together helped them open up together.

Estefany Nunez and Phillicity Uriarte-Jones

Estefany Nunez and Phillicity Uriarte-Jones

Being cut off from society, the group of students had to quickly learn how to work together to complete team-building activities. The two days spent together helped them open up together.

From the moment the tarp was thrown off to reveal two crashed cars, it finally became time for the handful of juniors and seniors chosen to participate in the event to take action. Students bleeding and bruised began to yell for help and scream over the bodies of friends.

Their “golden hour” had started and would leave a lasting impact.

Joel Castillo, a senior, had known he would be participating in Every 15 Minutes since early February. He had to prepare for the event by informing his parents that he would have to pretend to be in a car accident and write a post mortem letter. Even though he and other students also were told ahead of time that they would have to act, a lot of what they had to do on the day of the event was improvised.

“The people in charge told us to be really serious and not to laugh but that’s all they told us to do and just do the best we can,” Castillo said.

With help from some makeup to fake bruises and other marks, Castillo had to become a drunk driver not in his right mind after a crash. Though most of what he did and said was unrehearsed, the situation caused him to bring out his emotions and treat it as if it was real.

“Honestly, I put myself in that situation where I just killed two of my best friends and I have to face people who will look at me differently now because of what I did.”

Castillo wasn’t the only one who felt that way on that day. Jalend Dinwiddie, a senior, had to lie motionless for the entirety of the event as he played the corpse.

While Dinwiddie was worried at first he wouldn’t be able to stay still or that his friends would make him laugh, he got through the event without making any noticeable movements.

“For some reason when I was actually in the moment it all felt so real and it was just like something possessed me that I had to really reenact this.”

The experience of participating in Every 15 Minutes also gave Dinwiddie a better perspective of how drunk driving can affect others.

“I never had anyone really close to me be seriously injured or killed in a drunk driving accident so just listening to everyone else’s stories and the consequences or potential dangers was crazy,” Dinwiddie said. “I never realized what it could really do to somebody.”

After the first part of the event, Isaac Krietz, a senior, and other students had to go and sleep over at the district police station until the memorial the next day.

There, they were informed about what a real crash would be like and went even deeper into the topic with personal experiences. Hearing stories from other people and what they had to go through was heartbreaking yet eye-opening to Krietz.

“That’s the main thing I liked,” Krietz said. “We got to know about all this stuff we didn’t know about and it taught me a lot just going there and listening.”

The event was an overall good experience for Krietz. He not only had fun moments with paramedics tapping him and telling him to fall asleep, but he learned a valuable lesson that he’ll never forget.

“I tell my family, ‘If you need a ride anywhere, call me,’ and if I know they’re out there drinking I’ll get them,” Krietz said. “It’s taken a big effect on my family just coming and watching.”

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STUDENTS: Bonding with one another