CHS becomes a HERO at annual Wellness Conference

The event, headlined by keynote speaker Brandon Allen, included a student led wellness panel discussion, performances, games, and resource booths


Alyssa Garcia

Keynote speaker Brandon Allen motivates CHS students during his presentation at the Wellness Conference.

Colton, CA—For the annual Wellness Conference, held today at the Rivera Multi-purpose room, keynote speaker Brandon Allen challenged Colton’s students to “Be Your Own Hero.”

The event, hosted by the Colton High’s Wellness Center and Wellness Club, brought into multiple organizations to provide resources and support for students interested in their own mental wellness.

These organizations included CSU Merrill Center Crisis Stabilization Unit, Native American Resource Center, True Revolution, and Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance. Each organization set up booths along DC Lane for students to explore during both lunches, offering information about mental health. Some performed little giveaways and provided goodies to encourage networking and community support.

Students were even treated to time with Lucy, a labradoodle support dog, who with her pink Crocs and “Powderpuff Girls” kerchief, was quite the draw.

The highlight of the event was Allen’s keynote speech. He was inspired to be a motivational speaker because he wanted to be the voice he never had growing up. In addition to public speaking, Allen also publishes poetry. He published his first book of poetry, called “Little Boy Poem” in 2020.

About overcoming personal issues, Allen suggests students be mindful of three things. “Some of the things that helped me overcome and do wellness  is one: ask for help; two: be present and be honest.” This led him to return back to his main idea about what makes a “HERO.”

“Be a hero: honest, empathetic, resilient, and optimistic,” he said.

After the keynote speech, students and staff participated in a wellness panel. Six people spoke about their past experiences, hardships, and how they overcame them. The panel included students Jesse Ortiz, Ja’len Terry, Nicole Valadez, and Citlaly Vasquez, along with teachers Ms. Candice Tapia, 

In addition, the packed audience in the Rivera was also treated to a motivational speech by Jose Rodriguez, games led by Link Crew, and a performance by the CHS drumline. 

To participate in the event, students were required to register for a ticket, which were distributed on a first come, first served basis until capacity for the Rivera was reached.