Several years ago, Vista created a set of nine Core Values that describe what is important to us as we work to impact the lives of individuals with disabilities and the broader community. For 2022, we have chosen to focus our blog series on these Core Values - telling the story of our students and members and our organization through this important and powerful lens.
April Core Value Highlight: INTEGRITY
Vista's Discover Program is always looking for new and innovative ways for students to learn and apply integrity in their daily lives. Taylor DeMarco, a Program Instructor, recently led an activity that taught students how to build on the many facets of the core value of integrity.
Taylor working with Discover students during the Stacking Lies activity
Students played a game called Stacking Lies, in which each participant is given five pieces of paper and is asked to write down one lie that they have told for each piece of paper. "The classroom's candor was a teachable moment," Taylor says. “Everyone can relate to those times when it's difficult to be truthful, but it's also important to learn from those times and ask ourselves, How can I be honest and sincere in the given situation?”
Following that, students were instructed to crumble each piece of paper into a ball and then stack their five balls of lies on top of each other. Discover student Elizabeth shared, “No one can build on top of lies, the truth comes first.” This simple but meaningful activity emphasizes the fact that dishonesty never wins.
Students continued to discuss what integrity means to them and why dishonesty does not work. New Discover student, Abby, has enjoyed the new friendships she is making here at Vista and shared, “Lies are not a strong foundation for a relationship.” Another student joined in and stated that, “Lies spread out and grow because when you tell one lie, then you have to tell more of them to keep it going.” As the students described, it is important to foster relationships and friendship on a foundation of truth.
Discover student Henry attempts to stack crumpled up papers containing lies, demonstrating that lies do not build a strong foundation
Next Ilya, Chris and Dave shared how they felt in situations in which someone was dishonest with them. Chris stated, “If someone is dishonest, then I feel betrayed and hurt.” Dave agreed: “If someone is dishonest, it wouldn’t feel right talking to them.” Ilya said that if he was in a situation where someone was being dishonest with him, he would reach out to talk to them. He also shared, “If I couldn’t solve the issue on my own, I would get support from someone else and we would solve the issue together.” For Ilya, it’s good to be genuine about your weaknesses and asking for help.
Vista students and members practice incorporating the core value of Integrity into their daily lives and applying these lessons to strengthen their friendships. We hope you enjoyed hearing about Discover's Integrity activity!
More to come!