The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Hope Squad program starts up at Prosper, plans to change lives

September 5, 2019

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Hope Squad program starts up at Prosper, plans to change lives

Hope Squad members McKinley Bownds and Jack Simonini pause for a moment in front of the

Hope Squad members McKinley Bownds and Jack Simonini pause for a moment in front of the "Kindness Wall." The students in this new program at the high school are in charge of keeping the board restocked with positive messages. Students can take an encouraging note whenever they need one, or they can pass by it. “I feel that being on Hope Squad is really going to open my eyes,” sophomore member Jordyn Leggiere said. “It will make me happy by being able to help people, and to remind them that they aren’t alone, and that they matter so much.”

Ana Arredondo

Hope Squad members McKinley Bownds and Jack Simonini pause for a moment in front of the "Kindness Wall." The students in this new program at the high school are in charge of keeping the board restocked with positive messages. Students can take an encouraging note whenever they need one, or they can pass by it. “I feel that being on Hope Squad is really going to open my eyes,” sophomore member Jordyn Leggiere said. “It will make me happy by being able to help people, and to remind them that they aren’t alone, and that they matter so much.”

Ana Arredondo

Ana Arredondo

Hope Squad members McKinley Bownds and Jack Simonini pause for a moment in front of the "Kindness Wall." The students in this new program at the high school are in charge of keeping the board restocked with positive messages. Students can take an encouraging note whenever they need one, or they can pass by it. “I feel that being on Hope Squad is really going to open my eyes,” sophomore member Jordyn Leggiere said. “It will make me happy by being able to help people, and to remind them that they aren’t alone, and that they matter so much.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After thousands of lives were lost to suicide in his state, high school principal Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall started the Hope Squad program in Provo, Utah. Now, the program has spread to cities and schools across the country – including Prosper.

On Monday, Aug. 19, the Prosper Hope Squad organization held an informational parent meeting about the upcoming school year.

“Hope Squad is just another piece of the puzzle,” Hudnall said. “This (suicide) isn’t a school issue. It’s a society issue. It’s a challenge for all of us.”

After 18-year-old Braden Speed of Prosper took his life in October 2018, Speed’s friends and parents pushed to bring the Hope Squad program here.

“We want to inform and educate,” Hope Squad teacher and sponsor, Tony Cooper said. 

With plans to give hope and inspire the community, PISD students selected more than 100 kids to be members of the Hope Squad.

Young people don’t want to die. They just want the pain to go away.”

— Gregory A. Hudnall

“I feel that being on Hope Squad is really going to open my eyes,” sophomore Hope Squad member Jordyn Leggiere said. “It will make me happy by being able to help people, and to remind them that they aren’t alone, and that they matter so much.”

Although the 2019-2020 school year is Hope Squad’s first time at Prosper, members have already started their mission.

“We went to different lunches, and sat with kids who just needed a friend,” Leggiere said. “And that’s when I was like, wow, this is going to be a lot of fun helping out people who need it the most.”

Since Hope Squad’s kickoff, Hudnall said he believes that the most important thing that Hope Squad members can do is to “just be there.”

“Young people don’t want to die. They just want the pain to go away,” Hudnall said. “And I think that the most important thing to do, is to simply just be there.”

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