NS just wrapped up its first HOPE Squad week, which ran April 17th – 21st. The HOPE Squad is new to NS this year, and the week was dedicated to helping make students more aware of who and what the HOPE Squad is.
“The week was to raise awareness of who the HOPE squad is and what we do as a team,” sophomore Kaleb Cox said.
Not only was the week dedicated to helping show who the members are, but the week was used to show what the HOPE Squad’s purpose is.
“It’s a way to get it on people’s mind that mental illness and suicide is a bigger problem than it gets credit for,” senior Hannah Howard said. “We want to get people to think about positive things throughout the week and get people to have better attitudes than they normally have.”
The HOPE Squad planned many different activities to fill up the week and get people interested in learning more. These activities ranged from a chalk art contest, to dress up days, to getting raffle tickets every time students find a HOPE Squad member.
“My favorite activity was on Thursday where I dressed up as Deadpool for superhero day,” said senior and HOPE Squad President Chase Bailey. “It was very empowering to be a superhero.”
While the dress up days and chalk contests had high student involvement, the tickets had a special touch to them. If any students could find HOPE Squad members throughout the school day, they could ask for a ticket, which they wrote their name on, and then entered into a drawing for prizes.
“The tickets have proved that it can help students realize who we are and it gives them a reason to come and talk to us,” sophomore Carli Johansen said.
Overall, the HOPE Squad members feel the week has been a success.
“It’s been really good with a lot of participation,” Bailey said.
Besides just having good student participation, the week was able to accomplish its original purpose.
“Everyday we had something going on during lunch and we went around to advisory classes,” Cox said. “I think people know who we are and that was the main reason for the week.”
HOPE Squad week was able to help raise awareness of the club itself, and the members want you to know that they are they for you.
“HOPE Squad is meant to be a shoulder for students who are struggling,” Johansen said. “We care about you and want to help if you are willing to tell us your story. We also want to bring attention to mental illnesses and erase the stigma at NS.”
As stated, this is the first year NS has had a HOPE Squad and the members feel like it has gone pretty well this year.
“It has made a difference,” Bailey said. “There actually have been a couple people who came up to some of our members and found someone they could talk to about their struggles.”
While members feel that the club has had a good year, they do have some ideas on how to improve it and make it better.
“Have a HOPE week earlier in the year so people can know who members are sooner,” Howard said.
In the end, the club members hope that they have made a difference in the lives of NS students.
“I hope [the HOPE Squad] has made a difference,” Cox said. “If people don’t feel comfortable talking to an adult, I hope they realize that they have a group of kids their age who can understand what they’re going through a little better.”