As part of its work to prepare students for life in college and beyond, all Westridge Upper School students receive self-defense training―something our graduating seniors and alumnae tell us is an invaluable part of our program. The 10th grade Human Development class is currently in the midst of its self-defense and empowerment unit, and last week Lauren Roselle and her team from Esteem Communication were back on campus. They have worked with Westridge girls for nearly 15 years on assertiveness, boundary setting, and verbal skills with regard to safety and consent. The program culminates with working with padded attackers to respond to physical threats.
"I really hope that all of our students get out of the program an awareness of violence and of self-defense as concepts," said Zoe Muñoz, human development coordinator. "I think what's unique about this program is the padded attackers. It's different to take that knowledge and those physical techniques and then actually put them into play with a human being and with a human body. It's good practice and I think it adds something like exciting to the experience for them."
"It's a really fun experience because you get to kick a lot of people and let out all your anger and yell as loudly as you want!" said Charlotte Z. '22. "It also just makes you more confident yourself." One thing is for sure, the self-defense demonstrations in class were an empowering display of girls learning to stand up for themselves and support each other!