The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Healing wall creates positivity

Illusrated by Amber Davis

Hard Work Pays off in new PTK Project

Austin Folkertsma
campus editor

A collaborative project between NE President Kenya Ayers-Palmore and Phi Theta Kappa Phi Tau Chapter called The Healing Wall came to fruition Nov. 15 during an unveiling event. It promises to bring inclusiveness, connectivity and a sense of belonging to students. 

“My heart is full,” Ayers-Palmore said to a room of people during a speech. “I was approached by this wonderful group of leaders and advisers with the question ‘What can we do that will make an impact for the campus?’ and as president, they wanted to know what was closest to my heart.” 

Each semester, PTK pitches their biannual project to the president for their college assignment. This semester, the group asked the NE president what she would like them to do. She said TCC was at a place of uncertainty when they initially met in July 2021 and still is as the pandemic continues.

She said after being online, no one had those personal connections that they were used to in the classroom, but now that students are back, they’ve returned to an in-person community again.

 “What you have done, PTK, is give this community a place where we can express our concern for one another, provide the students with hope, be uplifting to one another and encourage others,” she said. 

As she looked around the room, she said she thought about those who had experienced great loss or are still grieving and that TCC now has a place where students and faculty can come together as a community, showing how much students and faculty care about each other. 

“Whether you were instrumental in figuring out how to put the lights up, design process or cheering your colleagues on, everyone’s role was important and valuable in this project,’’ Ayers-Palmore said. 

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NE student and project manager Megan Stiffler said the organization had met every Tuesday about their college project for the semester. 

 “Funny story of this entire project is me, and a few other members of the team, were putting up the original design and we thought to ourselves, ‘The tree kind of looks like a grandmother,” Stiffler said. “I asked Timothy Solorio, the person that sculpted the tree, ‘What is your strong suit?’ to which he replied, ’I’m an artist,’ and we were just kind of like ‘Thank God.’” 

PTK vice president of leadership Haley Crombie said a tree wasn’t supposed to be the original design. It was supposed to be a bulletin board. 

PTK honorary officer Alekxi Simonelli said she got the inspiration for the tree from ”The Cheetah Girls: One World.” In the film, they come across an old guy that tells them to make a wish and tie it to a tree,
she said. 

Simonelli took the idea of tying a wish to the tree and incorporated her twist to it. Instead of tying a wish to the tree, students and faculty can tie notes of encouragement or words of affirmation to the tree. 

Ayers-Palmore cut the ribbon, “Wow, wow, wow.” She was emotional as she wrote the first note to put onto the Healing Tree.

The note read, “Yes! You will make it through this season. Every season has a definitive beginning and ending. This too shall pass. Hang in there! I believe in you! All my best, Dr. Kenya Ayers-Palmore.” 

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