You know those days where you just feeling down? Well HOPE Squad members actually WANT to help you!
Hope Squad started in the Provo school District about 12-15 years ago. It was designed to help prevent suicides because the numbers were rising. Dr. Greg Hudnall and Cathy Bledsoe, plus a research team including counselors and social workers noticed this. They were trying to find the most effective way to stop this. The answer was peers! They tried this new idea and it had a huge impact on everyone! Less and less suicides were happening.
SJHS has been doing Hope Squad for about five years now. Our school decided to do this program when Ms.Droz, a school counselor, went to a training. She felt it would be helpful, successful, and fun for students to participate in, plus it would prevent suicide at the same time.
Ms. Droz, the eighth grade counselor, said, “Hope Squad is a peer support whose goals are to prevent youth suicide by observing and reporting any issues to adults.”Zack Dalley, a member of the Hope Squad program and an eighth grader at SJHS, said, “I like Hope Squad because I feel like I’m making a change...plus it’s really fun.”
Hope Squad members aren’t just random kids; they are voted for by their peers. Every year these students go to a training. This year’s training was Wednesday, September 25th. It was all day Grant Building. At the training the members learned how to react to people who feel sad and how to help them. Ryker Jenkins, an eighth grader and member of the Hope Squad said, “If someone is depressed we will cheer them up. We are kind of like role models to kids who get bullied.”
The people who were elected to be on Hope Squad this year are Moroni Wright, Kaitlyn Gee, Alex Collings, Alyssa Bennett,Lauryn Davis , Megan Martin, Ryker Jenkins, Sariah Rencher, Zack Dalley, Dallin Packer, Claire Pexton, Kaeden Roberts, Eliza Nemelka, Kaden Jepperson,Chloe Wimmer, Erika Crystal, Yaira Espinoza, Abi Maccabee, Tyree Strong, Chloe Wilson, Sean Stapel, Elise Willmore, Jake Chatfield, Charlie Fry, Spencer Johnson, Bennett Hullinger, Kenzie Keane, Carlie Maughan, Cailyn Hackworth and Iraidi Orozco. These are all the people you can go to when you need someone to talk to.