In early 2015, I along with a some other students had the opportunity to attend the Watermark Lead-On Conference, where we had the chance to see many inspiring women speak about their experiences. At this event, it was an artist by the name of Candy Chang whose words resonated within us most. Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” wall is an interactive public art project that invites people to contemplate death, reflect on life, and share their personal aspirations in public.

As high schoolers in an ultra fast-paced, competitive Silicon Valley, we were expected to maximize our potential 24 hours a day. Each day seemed a constant race towards some vaguely defined finish line, and in the midst of all this chaos-- both internal and external, it became increasingly difficult for introspection. In this environment where grades and college admissions seemed to define ourselves and our world, the notion of a blank slate and new beginnings defied that line of thought. This wall reflects our community, our dreams, our setbacks, and our triumphs. With every new piece of chalk set to the board, the wall evolves and re-evolves to represent who we are. 

We changed the prompt every couple of weeks to spark students to think about their lives with fresh perspectives. The Art Wall exists to bring students together as human beings, to express our feelings through the creation of our own art, and to foster a greater sense of community through individuality. We hope that the board will galvanize meaningful conversation on campus about who we are.