In a time when making new connections seems prohibited, ProjectConnect offers a way to form new friendships in a safe and modern way.
I was first introduced to ProjectConnect through my club S.W.E.E.T. What attracted me to this project was its purpose—to help students form connections.
According to ProjectConnect, “The mission of ProjectConnect is to build positive peer connections and community.” This is a peer-facilitated program that encourages students to get to know each other and make friendships.
ProjectConnect is currently being offered through Zoom, which is the middle ground for keeping students safe and connected at the same time.
As a facilitator, my job is to come up with questions and prompts that will form meaningful connections. Not only this, but my most important job is to make everyone feel comfortable and never judged and that they can trust their group members.
This program runs for six sessions. Up until now, I have been able to run my first Zoom meeting and meet the people whom I will get to know every Wednesday for the next five weeks.
As a facilitator, my initial concerns were that my group was not going to be able to bond with each other and that people would not participate in the conversations. To my surprise, everyone in the group came into the meeting with an open mind.
In the first few minutes, the group was shy and quiet, but 20 minutes into the session, everyone was laughing, sharing and building onto each other’s ideas.
The most rewarding feeling was seeing my group laugh with each other, find things in common, and make that initial connection when they had only met each other a few minutes earlier.
As the sessions proceed, the questions and conversations are meant to build meaningful connections.
My group has already started this process by committing to meet every week for an hour and talk openly about their struggles, concerns and passions. In fact, I have encouraged my group to think about a passion they have and to talk about it at our next meeting. My goal with this is to help them pursue that passion and not feel like they are in it alone.
Even though I had initial concerns about ProjectConnect, I have noticed a spark light inside me. Being a part of this project has inspired me to form meaningful friendships with my group and help them do the same with each other.
After my first meeting, I walked away feeling refreshed and happy from seeing how my efforts made my group feel comfortable and excited to meet again.
With enough participation, ProjectConnect will be a part of Sacred Heart that helps students form connections with people they might have never otherwise met.
Whether you are a facilitator or a participant of ProjectConnect, you can be sure to walk away with new friendships and new knowledge about yourself.
Featured Image Attributed by Adrianna Perugini